In Michigan
5:44 pm
Mon February 1, 2010

Obama seeks $300 million for Great Lakes cleanup

TRAVERSE CITY, MI –

President Obama's newly released budget requests $300 million to continue an environmental restoration program for the Great Lakes.

The total, announced Monday, is down from the $475 million Obama successfully sought last year. The Environmental Protection Agency blames the reduction on the poor economy but says the president remains committed to the Great Lakes initiative.

The program developed by government agencies and outside experts calls for eventually spending more than $20 billion for a wide-ranging cleanup of the lakes.

It would pay for projects such as preventing foreign species invasions, removing contaminated sediments, improving wildlife habitat and reducing runoff of fertilizers and other pollutants from onshore.

EPA says among the top priorities is stopping Asian carp from invading the lakes and damaging the food chain.