Obama budget seeks cuts in Great Lakes program

(Photo courtesy: Kevin Coles/www.imagemichigan.net)
(Photo courtesy: Kevin Coles/www.imagemichigan.net)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — President Barack Obama is proposing a spending cut for a program that deals with some of the Great Lakes’ most urgent environmental threats.

The president’s proposed 2015 budget released Tuesday requests $275 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which he established after taking office. The initiative received $475 million the first year it was funded and has gotten about $300 million most years since then.

The program has funded projects across the eight-state region to clean up polluted harbors and river mouths, battle Asian carp and other invasive species, control runoff that causes algae blooms and restore wildlife habitat.

Todd Ambs of a group called the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition says it opposes the spending cut, as well as a proposal to reduce funding for wastewater infrastructure improvements.

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