03/07/2013 09:45 am ET Updated May 07, 2013

Advocates Ask Congress To Spare Great Lakes Funds

TRAVERSE CITY -- The effectiveness of a long-term plan to heal the ailing Great Lakes could be marred by federal spending cuts, which also could make it harder to cope with low water levels that threaten the region's economy, local leaders said Wednesday during a lobbying trip to Washington.

Representatives of state and local governments, businesses and advocacy groups were pressed Congress for continued funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which involves nearly a dozen federal agencies in a push to solve some of the region's most pressing environmental problems. They also sought money to dredge sand-clogged harbors, and upgrade sewage treatment plants and other aging infrastructure.

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