Sen. Durbin held a news conference Monday at 12th Street Beach on Northerly Island.
The cuts are included in a spending bill that now goes to the full House Appropriations Committee this week.
Funding could be cut by approximately 80 percent.
Durbin says cuts would have a major impact on federal programs created to address ecological problems facing the Great Lakes, including fighting the spread of Asian carp.
"The whole Great Lakes area would be totally changed in terms of fisheries and its future if the asian carp makes it," said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois).
Cuts also apply to the loan fund that helps communities upgrade sewage treatment systems.