In Michigan
6:23 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Congress OKs $300 million for Great Lakes cleanup

TRAVERSE CITY, MI –

Congress has set aside $300 million to continue a wide-ranging program to heal the Great Lakes environment by removing toxic sediments, improving wildlife habitat
and fighting invasive species.

The money was included in a larger spending bill that cleared the House and Senate last week and is awaiting President Barack Obama's signature.

Congress appropriated $475 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in 2010 and just under $300 million last year. The new $300 million installment will be for the 2012 fiscal year.

Jeff Skelding of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition says next year's federal budget is a victory for people who depend on the Great Lakes for drinking water and jobs.

The Great Lakes region also is expected to get $533 million in loans for sewer upgrades.