TOLEDO – On Monday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, hosted a roundtable at the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo with businesses and organizations that depend on a healthy Lake Erie. The roundtable discussion focused on the importance of protecting the Great Lakes for jobs and the local economy.

“In Ohio, families and businesses rely on Lake Erie — its waters are critical to everything from tourism, to industry and manufacturing, to farming and clean energy development,” said Brown. “My Ohio colleagues — Republicans and Democrats alike — have made it clear that zeroing out the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is not an option that we will stand for. We cannot allow Washington to write off Lake Erie and the millions of Ohioans who rely on it. This will cost Ohio jobs and put our water supply at risk.”

In May, Brown blasted President Trump’s proposed budget for eliminating the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), a highly successful program that jump-started efforts to protect, maintain and restore the integrity of the Great Lakes. The budget plan also reduces funding for agricultural conservation programs and eliminates the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sea Grant Program, which funds Ohio State Stone Lab on Lake Erie. Stone Lab plays a critical role in monitoring and protecting Lake Erie.

In the government funding measure passed earlier this year, Brown and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, helped ensure that the measure included $300 million for GLRI for the remainder of the fiscal year, battling back reported attempts to cut the GLRI by $50 million this fiscal year.

Brown was joined at Monday’s roundtable by representatives from Cedar Point, Lake Erie Shores and Islands, the University of Toledo, the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association, Ohio State University Stone Lab, the Lucas County…