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Federal budget bill includes increase to Great Lakes cleanup funding

In the proposed 2020 budget bill, the funding for the GLRI will be increased to $320 million.
Credit: Katie Trusty
Lake Michigan brings out the best parts of a sunset. This one's at Duck Lake State Park.

WASHINGTON — The final federal budget bill includes a provision that would increase funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. 

Since the GLRI was established in 2010, it has been provided about $300 million a year. The program was created to remove toxic pollution, fight invasive species and deal with other environmental problems in the eight-state Great Lakes region.  

In the proposed 2020 budget bill, the funding for the GLRI will be increased to $320 million. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich) has led the charge on getting more federal dollars to aid Great Lakes cleanup. 

“The Great Lakes are simply part of who we are as Michiganders, an economic engine for our state and one of our nation’s most precious resources," said Peters. “After pushing hard, I’m proud to have secured increased funding to protect our Great Lakes for future generations. I look forward to this funding soon becoming law, which will allow for more resources to restore habitats, combat invasive species and clean up our waterways.”

In August, Peters and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich) introduced bipartisan legislation in Grand Rapids to renew and expand GLRI through 2026. That bill proposes increasing the annual appropriation from $300 million to $475 million over the years. 

On Monday, House leaders unveiled the $1.4 trillion spending bill. The full House is expected to vote on it this week and the Senate will likely vote before a temporary spending bill expires Friday at midnight. 

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