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President Obama's 2015 budget plan cuts Great Lakes cleanup funding

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - If President Obama has his way, a long-running program to clean up the Great Lakes won't get as much money as in the past.

Obama submitted a 2015 federal budget package Tuesday that includes $275 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Former President George W. Bush created a task force to come up with billions of dollars in Great Lakes environmental improvements. But he never funded the effort, and Obama did.

He approved $475 million back in 2009. Since then, the program has received around $300 million a year.

Todd Ambs of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition opposed the spending cut. He also opposed another budget measure that reduces federal money for sewage plant improvements.

The Great Lakes initiative has funded numerous projects in Wisconsin and seven other states -- like cleanups of polluted harbors and river mouths, runoff control to fight algae, battles against the Asian carp and other invasive species, and the restoring of wildlife habitat.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)