SEATTLE (AP) — State officials, environmental advocates and others are warning of dire environmental and economic consequences if President Donald Trump's cuts to Puget Sound and other environmental programs go through as proposed.
The Environmental Protection Agency's funding for Puget Sound — about $28 million last year — would be gutted under Trump's budget blueprint released Thursday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 50-year-old Sea Grant program, which focuses on creating a healthy coastal environment and economy, would also be axed, including about a $4 million hit to the program in Washington state.
U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, a Washington state Democrat, called the cuts "completely irresponsible" and vowed to fight the president's proposal.
"It sets a bad starting point for the discussion," Kilmer, who is on the House Appropriations Committee, said in an interview Friday. "These are iconic bodies of water that have an important role, not just environmentally but from an economic standpoint as well."