Great Lakes restoration program avoids cut

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - A wide-ranging Great Lakes cleanup program appears to have survived the latest attempt to cut it.

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The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative would get $300 million next year under a massive spending bill crafted by congressional negotiators. The House and Senate are expected to vote on the package this week.

President Barack Obama created the initiative, which tackles some of the lakes' most serious environmental problems. Among them are toxic pollution, invasive species and nutrient runoff that causes harmful algae blooms.

But Obama has tried to reduce the program's funding in recent years because of the federal spending crunch. His proposed 2016 budget recommended $250 million.

Lawmakers from Great Lakes states pushed for $300 million, the amount the program has gotten most years since it was established in 2009.



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