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Members of Congress lobby colleagues to reject cutbacks to Great Lakes restoration program

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TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan — Members of Congress from the Great Lakes region are lobbying colleagues to continue funding a cleanup program for the inland seas.

Forty-six House members from both parties recently sent a letter to leaders of a subcommittee that recommends spending on the environment.

It requests $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The program usually gets about that much for projects dealing with threats such as toxic pollution and invasive species. President Barack Obama's 2015 budget would cut it to $275 million.

Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan says the program has done much to improve the lakes' health and now isn't the time to cut back.

Members of the Senate's Great Lakes task force also sent letters last week urging support for the program and others that benefit the lakes.

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