Francisco Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, and
South Florida. The Trump budget also
eliminates many of the EPA’s air-pollu-tion, clean-power, climate, research, and
regional pollution initiatives.
Given the initial congressional outcry
against all the cuts, the Trump administration could have trouble passing the
cuts in domestic spending it seeks for
fiscal year 2018 – but time will tell, and it
will likely be September before we have
a good understanding of what next year’s
budget will really look like.
The initial draft of the White House
budget blueprint called for cutting the
U.S. Coast Guard budget by 14 percent.
The administration quickly backed off
that cut, however, now proposing to
keep the service’s $10 billion budget flat
compared with the previous year. Agency
commanders say the Coast Guard needs
additional funding to fulfill its duties,
which include search-and-rescue efforts,
defense against drug smugglers, and
immigration law enforcement.
Meanwhile, in other line items to
keep an eye on, the initial Trump pro-
posal would eliminate $250 million in
targeted NOAA grants and programs
that support coastal and marine man-
agement, research, and education. Also
eliminated would be NOAA’s Sea Grant
program, which is located in every coastal
and Great Lakes state and works on a
wide scope of valuable initiatives, from
sustainable coastal development to mari-
time law and clean-marina programs.
Funding cuts are also targeted for the
development of a next-generation weath-
er modeling system, efforts to extend
operational weather outlooks from 16 to
30 days, and a tsunami-warning system
for the West Coast.
Congress will have the final say on the
2018 budget this fall when the 12 budget
bills required under the Constitution
come to the vote.
“Funding for boating-related services falls under the agencies affected
by these proposed cuts,” says BoatU.S.
Government Affairs manager David
Kennedy. “How these agencies will
Trust fund protects specific boating programs
Under the proposed budget, the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety, which promotes boater safety and education, will be affected by cuts (an esti- mated 1. 6 percent). But because it’s partially funded through the Sport Fish
Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, the effects on its programs will be minimized.
“Those ‘trust-fund’ monies come from federal excise taxes we boaters pay for
boat fuel, fishing gear, and other essentials,” says David Kennedy, manager of
BoatU.S. Government Affairs. “Through this fund, those dollars funnel back to the
states to pay for boating safety, education, and law-enforcement programs; launch
ramps for trailer boaters; marina slips for transient boats; sewage pumpout facilities;
and a variety of salt- and freshwater fishery-conservation efforts. Trust-fund dollars
are not governed by Congress’s annual budget decisions.”
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