Thousands gather for March for Science rally downtown

CLEVELAND -- Science not silence: It's a message nearly 8,000 people gathered in Public Square to rally behind Saturday during the city's first March for Science.

"Science has been under attack for a few years now," said Dr. Evalyn Gates, the CEO of Cleveland's Museum of Natural History. "There are proposed funding cuts that we think would do immeasurable harm."

Organizers say the goal of the march is not to be critical of the current administration, but to underscore the vital role scientific research plays in the lives of people in Northeast Ohio. Nevertheless critics of proposed cuts to the EPA made sure their voices were heard.

"We have to have clean water and we have to have the ability to embrace our natural resources," said attendee Kari Oatman.

Numerous signs during the rally specifically referenced decreased funding for the Great Lakes. The Trump Administration's budget proposal for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative could cut funds by 97 percent, from $300 million to $10 million dollars.

"The great lakes not only on our borders but all the great lakes, I think is probably some of the most valuable resources that we have in the world," said attendee Dr. Jamie Lindstrom.

Based on the large turnout, organizers say another rally could be planned at a later date. A future some of the youngest marches in the crowd are looking forward to.

"We are heading in the very wrong direction but I think we can make a turn in the right one," said Joey Smith, 9, holding a sign featuring Kermit the frog that said, "it's easy being green."

Cleveland's rally is a satellite march to the national one held in Washington, D.C., in addition to 500 other worldwide marches.

**More on March of Science, here**