There has been a lot in the news lately regarding potential Federal budget cuts to programs that support several Great Lakes initiatives, including programs that directly affect local businesses and residents.
Here are a few points to be aware of:
- Proposed budget cuts to the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) would severely impact Old Woman Creek Research Reserve in Huron as 70% of its annual operating costs come from NOAA. Without that funding, Old Woman Creek Reserve would have to significantly reduce or eliminate many services and programs.
- Old Woman Creek Reserve protects 573 acres and provides access to hiking, bird watching, canoeing and is home to the DeWine Center for Coastal Wetland Studies visitor center and beach access. Old Woman Creek Reserve provides public programs through its Estuary Explorations programming series and hosts field trips for several local schools.
- Another proposed cut would eliminate a $73 million program called Sea Grant, which supports coastal research conducted through 33 university programs across the country. Ohio Sea Grant is directly responsible for the OSU Stone Laboratory and its research on Gibraltar Island.
- Loss of funding for Ohio Sea Grant could pose a public health risk as academic research conducted by Ohio Sea Grant is responsible for the reduction of risk to public health (clean beaches and improved water treatment) by helping water treatment plants more efficiently remove harmful algal bloom toxins, track algal bloom movement and toxicity, and measure the potential impacts of toxins after exposure.
To let your elected officials know your thoughts, you can find and contact your Members of Congress and Senators by going online to: