Natural Resource Highlights from the State Capitol

Jon Bumstead
Michigan State Senator
Director at Large, Muskegon River Watershed Assembly

Recently the governor presented her budget proposal to the Joint House and Senate Committee on Appropriations. As the Minority Vice Chair of Appropriations and the Minority Vice Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, I was very curious as to what projects and goals the executive branch had in mind for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024.

The total budget recommendation made by the governor totals $79 billion, of that more than $584 million is recommended to be appropriated to the DNR and almost $900 million to be appropriated to EGLE for projects and funding. Some highlights of the budget recommendations:

$25 million for restoring Michigan’s waterways (one-time general fund) to provide grants for the removal of dams that are not essential to the containment of invasive species or are not necessary for power generation and community safety. This investment will assist in the restoration of Michigan’s aquatic ecosystems and grow the recreational water economy.

$11.9 million for an invasive species and habitat strike team (general fund) to create an invasive species response task force that will lead and accelerate efforts to prevent the intrusion of new and contain current invasive species in Michigan.

$7.8 million for state parks operations (state-restricted funds) to provide additional park rangers and essential resources to state parks. This program will improve state park experiences for the public in response to their increased use over recent years.

$23.8 million for the collection and management of data on Michigan’s groundwater resources (general fund; $23.5 million one-time) to collect data and conduct studies on the state’s underground aquifers. These data will allow for the preservation of a resource from which 40% of Michigan communities draw their water and enable its effective future management.

As we move forward in budget negotiations it is likely there will be changes made to the governor’s budget proposal. As Minority Vice Chair I look forward to advocating and working toward a fiscally sound budget that highlights our state’s natural resources and preserves them for generations to come.

If you have any questions related to the state or budget, please do not hesitate to contact my office by phone at (517) 373-1635 or by email at