Thursday, Dec 08, 2016
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Bill would spend $300M on Great Lakes restoration

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich.  — A spending bill crafted by congressional leaders would allocate $300 million to a Great Lakes cleanup that had been threatened with a deep cut during last year’s budget battle.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is an Obama administration program dealing with some of the lakes’ most serious environmental problems such as invasive species, loss of wetlands and other wildlife habitat, toxic pollution and runoff that causes algae blooms.

It has gotten around $300 million in most years since funding began in 2010. But last year, a House subcommittee proposed slashing the 2014 allocation to just $60 million, which Great Lakes advocates said would gut the program.

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois says today that the compromise bill would provide enough money to continue momentum toward restoring the lakes.

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