Green Buckeye RN


Akron Beacon Journal: Great Lakes May Clean Up
August 4, 2009, 8:32 am
Filed under: News

Cleanup of Cuyahoga might be on agenda

By Bob Downing
Beacon Journal staff writer
Published on Monday, Aug 03, 2009

The ailing Great Lakes are on the verge of getting an infusion of at least $400 million in new federal funds.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is in President Barack Obama’s first budget as it moves through Congress and would be the largest commitment to the lakes in U.S. history.

The fresh-water system supports a region that is among the world’s largest industrial and agricultural economies, but as a result, that natural resource has experienced more than a century of abuse.

States, communities and grass-roots groups across northern Ohio are eager to tap into the new money.

Some call the program a federal stimulus package that will fix long-neglected problems, including toxic chemicals, contaminated streams and harbors, invasive species and habitat loss on Lake Erie and the four other Great Lakes.

”It’s an exciting development . . . potentially extraordinary,” said Gary Gulezian, director of the U.S. Environment Protection Agency’s Great Lakes program office. ”It will be great to realize some of those [cleanup] dreams.”

”It’s not a panacea but it’s huge,” said Tim Eder, executive director of the Great Lakes Commission, an agency that involves Ohio and the seven other Great Lakes states.

Ohio environmentalists say the program provides a rare opportunity.

”It really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we don’t
want it to get messed up,” said Kristy Meyer of the Ohio Environmental Council. ”We feel responsible and we want to make sure the money is spent wisely.”

Gulezian said Lake Erie has more problems than the other lakes and is likely to get more funds.

 Read further at http://www.ohio.com/news/52334147.html

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