WASHINGTON D.C. - President Trump's budget request that would eliminate funding for environmental protection for the Great Lakes is being met with opposition from Ohio's Republican U.S. Senator. 

Senator Rob Portman believes the proposal from President Trump would harm Lake Erie. Portman has issued a statement, indicating he will fight to save the program. 

“The Great Lakes are an invaluable resource to Ohio, and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been a successful public-private partnership that helps protect both our environment and our economy.  According to a recent study, the GLRI’s work generates a total of more than $80 billion in benefits in health, tourism, fishing, and recreation. The study also states that GLRI saves local communities like Toledo $50 million in costs, and increases property values across the region by a total of $12 billion," Portman said in his statement.

Portman calls the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative a critical tool to protect Lake Erie and a contributor to Toledo's economy by saving $50 million in costs there. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative's authorized funding level was 300-million dollars for fiscal year 2016.