Congress has approved $300 million to continue a multiyear program aimed at fixing some of the Great Lakes' most severe environmental programs. Some of the money is expected to benefit Lake Superior and Duluth.
The money will go to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a multi-agency federal effort to clean up toxic materials, fight invasive species, and restore wetlands and habitat. Projects in the Duluth area include dredging toxic sediment out of the St. Louis River, monitoring beaches for bacteria, and restoring area watersheds.
Congress appropriated $475 million dollars in 2010 to kick-start the initiative. This new funding for the next fiscal year is about the same as this year's.
"So that's a really good news story for the Great Lakes, especially in light of the economy and the budget cutting frenzy on Capitol Hill," said Jeff Skelding is campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.