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Money To Restore Great Lakes Still Flows, For Now

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DETROIT (AP) – At a time when many federal programs are fighting for survival, money still flows to a long-sought Great Lakes cleanup.

Congress has spent $775 million in the past two years on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. More than 650 grants have been awarded for projects to clean polluted sites, restore wildlife habitat and fight invasive species.

President Barack Obama has requested $350 million more for 2012, but it’s uncertain what will happen with lawmakers deeply divided over government spending. The future is even murkier.

The program will be a hot topic this week at a Detroit gathering of government officials, scientists and Great Lakes advocacy groups. They say it’s working well but will need billions more over many years to succeed.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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