The Great Lakes are five of America’s greatest natural treasures. It’s an ecosystem so epic in size and breathtaking in beauty that it instills a sense of national pride for the 85 million people who live in the region.

That’s why President Trump’s proposed budget, which slashes funding to protect and restore the lakes by 97 percent, is so alarming. Since 2010, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has funded over 2,000 projects that improve water quality, protect native wildlife, control invasive species, and clean up toxic pollutants that threaten our water supply. Budget cuts from $300 million annually to a mere $10 million, halt all of this important work, impacting not only our waters and wildlife, but the millions of people who call this region our home.

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All these projects add up to regional impact for cleaner water, healthy habitat, and vibrant communities across the eight Great Lakes states. Audubon Great Lakes urges Congress to oppose this drastic cut. Holding 20 percent of the world’s fresh water supply, the lakes provide shelter, nourishment, and rest for millions of threatened migratory birds during their long journeys. Thousands of raptors, waterfowl, and wetland birds rely on these lakes for safe nesting grounds.

Contact your Senators and Representative and ask them to oppose this budget proposal. Together, we can ensure that the Great Lakes continue to provide abundant clean water for the people and wildlife that depend on them.

Rebeccah Sanders
Vice President & Executive Director
Audubon Great Lakes

How Trump can earn applause

President Trump wrote in his book “Great Again” that “we can’t let Americans go without health care because they don’t have the right resources. … We have to find a way to take care of those people who can’t take care of themselves.” He also wrote: “I know most Americans agree with me, because wherever I go in Ohio, Florida, Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire, when I say it, people give me a standing ovation.”

Imagine the ovation President Trump would deservedly get if he were to oppose the Republicans’ proposed American Health Care Act, which would cut benefits to the poor and middle class, and work to guarantee health care as our human right.

Michael Brennan, West Ridge

Fight less and spend less

In response to retired Navy Captain Brent Ramsey’s opinion essay in Friday’s Sun-Times, in which he argues for greater military spending, how about we just stop fighting senseless wars?  The world is not a John Wayne movie where toughness and swagger are everything.

John Hankes, Geneva