By JOHN FLESHER
AP Environmental Writer
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — President Barack Obama’s proposed 2014 budget calls for keeping a wide-ranging Great Lakes cleanup program near its current funding level.
Obama requests $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the spending plan he sent to Congress on Wednesday. That’s the amount he sought in each of the past three years, although the 2013 appropriation may drop because of across-the-board cuts.
The initiative is designed to make progress on some of the lakes’ biggest environmental problems, such as invasive species, contaminated hot spots, toxic algae blooms and wildlife habitat loss.
Officials have awarded more than 1,500 grants under the program to university scientists, government agencies and nonprofit groups for projects in eight states. Some has been used in the fight to prevent Asian carp from invading the lakes.