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article imageEPA will spend $2.2 billion to protect Great Lakes

By Bob Ewing     Feb 22, 2010 in Environment
New funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be used to clean up pollution in the Great Lakes and stop the spread of invasive species over the next five years.
The plans are to prevent beach pollution, clean up toxic hot spots and fight Asian carp and other invasive species, reports USA Today.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told USA Today the investment "will leave the Great Lakes better for the next generation than the condition in which we inherited them."
The Great Lakes have been under threat for decades. The threats include everything from industrial pollution to disappearing wetlands and invasive species.
Previous efforts to address these problems have been modest at best.
Joel Brammeier, president of the Alliance for the Great Lakes told USA Today, "We're on track today to do something the Great Lakes have been crying out for for years, and that's comprehensive restoration."
In the 1980s, both the Canadian and United Sates governments identified 31 toxic hot spots on the U.S. side. To date, only one of these 31 have been completely restored.
A zero-tolerance approach will be applied to invasive species; asian carp, for example, are a serious threat to native fish and the regional fisheries.
USA Today reports Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, called the cleanup "extraordinarily important."
Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, said it will "leave these bodies of water improved and protected."
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