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Published: Wednesday, 8/19/2009

Groups rally support for Great Lakes cleanup


DETROIT Environmental advocates and business leaders are urging Congress to fund President Barack Obama's initiative to restore the Great Lakes.

Representatives from the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, a collection of groups lobbying for the cleanup, gathered Wednesday in Detroit along with other environmental, business and government leaders.

They say the restoration effort will provide a huge economic boost. The Brookings Institution estimates the Great Lakes region will gain $2 in economic benefit for every $1 investment to restore the Great Lakes.

Obama requested $475 million in his 2010 budget for the lakes project. A bill to provide full funding has cleared the House, while the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved $400 million.

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