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Obama again proposes cut in Great Lakes protection program

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — For the third consecutive year, President Barack Obama is proposing to cut a program that focuses on the Great Lakes’ biggest environmental threats.

Obama’s budget released Tuesday requests $250 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. That would be a reduction from the $300 million spent this year.

The president has recommended similar reductions the past two years in the effort to narrow the federal budget deficit. But each time, Congress has kept the program at $300 million. Members of both parties from the eight Great Lakes states have oppose the cuts.

A group called the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition said it would lobby to keep the funding intact.

The program has supported 2,900 projects dealing with toxic pollution, invasive species, habitat loss and runoff that causes algae blooms.

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