Obama seeks $300 million for Great Lakes cleanup

CREATED Feb 13, 2012

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  • Lake Michigan. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- President Barack Obama is requesting $300 million to continue funding a wide-ranging Great Lakes environmental cleanup program in the 2013 fiscal year.

Congress has appropriated more than $1 billion for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative during the first three years of Obama's presidency. His budget plan released Monday seeks $300 million more.

The program is based on a wish list developed by environmental groups, scientists, state officials and others in the region.

It seeks to make progress on some of the Great Lakes' most pressing problems, including invasive species, toxic pollution, farm and urban runoff and loss of wildlife habitat.

The program also has helped pay for the fight to prevent Asian carp from slipping into the Great Lakes, where scientists say they could out-compete native fish for food.