MILWAUKEE -- Some of Milwaukee's alderman met Monday, March 20th to discuss the impact of President Donald Trump's proposed budget, and proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, which have created a lot of concern for the Great Lakes.
The alderman said the Great Lakes are essential to maintaining and growing our way of life, not just in Milwaukee, but across the Midwest. Failure to maintain them could be detrimental to the entire country.
The Great Lakes are a major source of business, climate control, water and tourism.
"The Great Lakes region supplies 20 percent of the world's fresh water. It also represents nearly 1.5 million jobs and we've made some great strides in restoring the Great Lakes," Alderman Michael Murphy said.
Under President Trump's proposed budget, the EPA would lose one-third of their current budget.
Alderman Murphy said that's a major problem. He said he's concerned it could mean trouble for the Great Lakes cleanup operation.
"Obviously we've had a lot of invasive species, a lot of pollution going into the water for decades, if not centuries, and to step back now into investing into the Great Lakes will really hurt our region economically, let alone environmentally," Alderman Murphy said.
The topic of supporting the Great Lakes Restoration projects has received bipartisan support at multiple levels of government. However, the alderman said they understand these proposed cuts are out of their control. They said they hope by speaking out, and talking with people, they'll get their message across to Milwaukee area taxpayers.
"And at this point in time, if you're really looking at trying to create an economic development, this really hurts those efforts," Alderman Murphy said.
Also on Monday, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett kicked off what he is calling "Water Week" in Milwaukee, with several events taking place across the city.
CLICK HERE to learn more.