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Senators pushing to increase Great Lakes cleanup funding

a fishing boat cruises on the Milwaukee River near Lake Michigan, an area designated for cleanup because of decades of toxic pollution. The Obama administration announced an updated 5-year plan for restoring the Great Lakes on Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, calling for accelerated efforts to address toxic pollution, invasive species and farm runoff and restore plant and wildlife habitat. (AP Photo/John Flesher, File)

A fishing boat cruises on the Milwaukee River near Lake Michigan recently. A group of U.S. senators from Michigan is seeking more federal money to continue a Great Lakes cleanup plan. (AP File Photo/John Flesher)

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan U.S. senators are seeking more federal money to continue a wide-ranging Great Lakes cleanup plan.

The Democrats Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters announced,  at a series of news conferences on Thursday and Friday, the introduction of bipartisan legislation to renew and expand the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

The bill would continue the plan through 2026 and gradually increase its annual appropriation from the current $300 million to $475 million.

The plan sets a priority on cleaning up some of the Great Lakes’ most longstanding environmental troubles, including industrial toxic pollution, invasive species, runoff that causes algae blooms and the loss of wildlife habitat.

In Michigan, it has provided a combined $762 million for 880 projects, including restoring native fish populations in the Detroit River and removing 200 tons of marine debris from Belle Isle in Detroit.

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