October 31, 2014

Great Lakes to see spending increase

The U.S. Senate and House are expected to act on an appropriations bill later this week that includes $300 million for an ongoing program aimed at reducing invasive species, restoring habitat, ending bacteria-caused beach closures and preventing runoff and other pollution in the Great Lakes, and $1.4 billion for loans to states for clean-water-infrastructure projects.

The spending represents increases in federal spending for both efforts, up from $285 million in 2013 for the Great Lakes program and $1.37 billion for the loan program, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

The federal money will be funneled through federal agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, to state, local and nonprofit efforts in a competitive application process for specific new projects. State matching money often is required.

Todd Ambs, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, said in a statement that  the investment will help support programs that are delivering results in communities across the region.