$300M for Great Lakes cleanup moves forward in Congress

Sturgeon Bay
The sun sets over Lake Michigan at Sturgeon Bay in northern Michigan. (Courtesy Thurston De Vos, file)

DETROIT (AP) — A wide-ranging Great Lakes cleanup program would receive $300 million next year under a spending bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The measure cleared the committee this week and now goes to the full Senate.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative focuses on the region’s most longstanding environmental problems, such as toxic pollution, farm and urban runoff, invasive species and declining wildlife habitat.

President Donald Trump’s budget called for eliminating the program’s funding. But lawmakers in both parties from the Great Lakes region fought to retain the $300 million it has received most years since 2010.

Todd Ambs of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition says he’s happy about the funding, but worried that the bill cuts spending for the Environmental Protection Agency and other departments that administer the program.