Great Lakes program would get $300M under budget compromise

Published On: February 15, 2016Categories: Industry News, News

The Associated Press reports a wide-ranging Great Lakes cleanup program would escape a presidential funding cut under a compromise federal spending plan. President Obama established the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in 2009 to make progress on some of the freshwater seas’ biggest environmental problems, including invasive species, industrial pollution, loss of wildlife habitat and nutrient runoff that causes harmful algae blooms. It has received $300 million most years since then. But he has recommended cuts the past two years in the push to trim the budget deficit. Both times, lawmakers from the eight-state region have successfully lobbied colleagues to spare the program, which would remain at $300 million if the House and Senate approve a gigantic spending deal crafted by negotiators from both chambers. More than 2,500 grants totaling $1.6 billion have been distributed for projects ranging from restoration of dunes and wetlands to public education about invasive plants and fish.