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.