A wide-ranging Great Lakes cleanup program will continue an additional five years under newly enacted legislation that funds water projects around the nation.
Congress gave the bill final approval over the weekend. It authorizes spending $300 million on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through 2021, although separate yearly votes will be needed to secure the money.
The program already has pumped $2.2 billion into more than 3,000 projects. They have cleaned up toxic pollution in harbors and river mouths, battled Asian carp and other invasive species, restored wildlife habitat and supported efforts to prevent harmful algal blooms.
The bill also creates a position for a coordinator to work with federal, state and local agencies on the algal bloom problem and provides funding to improve navigation in the Great Lakes.