Future federal coastal grants iffy, but 2017 lands $1M
By CARL STODDARD
Capital News Service
LANSING – A popular program that helps Michigan beachfront communities improve their shorelines is jeopardized by proposed federal budget cuts. The Trump administration recently recommended a 17 percent cut in funding to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which supports the Coastal Zone Management Program. The program awards about a dozen Michigan grants a year, and such a cut could limit the number and amount of the coastal grants, said Rachel Coale, outreach coordinator for the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes. The administration’s proposed cuts could be a loss for Michigan and the country, said Brad Garmon, the director of conservation at the Michigan Environmental Council. NOAA’s coast grants are “a vital investment, especially to a state like Michigan that’s defined by water,” Garmon said.