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Spending bill would boost funding for Great Lakes cleanup

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A wide-ranging cleanup of the Great Lakes would receive a funding boost under a spending bill moving toward enactment in Congress.

The measure, approved Tuesday by the House, includes $320 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The bill was sent to the Senate for a vote expected later this week.

The initiative received $475 million in 2010 and has gotten about $300 million every year since.

It would pay for projects dealing with long-term environmental concerns such as toxic pollution in harbors and river mouths, the loss of wetlands and other habitat, invasive species and runoff that causes harmful algae blooms.

The bill also would appropriate $75 million toward the construction of a new shipping lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, a link between Lakes Huron and Superior for freighters hauling iron ore and other bulk commodities.

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