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"Fiscal cliff" causes concern for Great Lakes environmentalists

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WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - Great Lakes environmentalists are the latest to express alarm over the so-called “fiscal cliff” in Washington.

Across the board spending cuts will take effect on January 1st if Congress and the White House don’t agree on a new deficit-reduction plan.

If that happens, the Alliance for the Great Lakes said there would an 8.2 percent cut in federal money for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative – a long-range program designed to clean up toxic pollution and remove invasive species.

The former George W. Bush White House initiated the program – but nobody funded it until after President Obama took office. It received $300 million in the last fiscal year – and about $25 million could be cut without a budget deal.

Joel Brammeier of the Great Lakes Alliance said the environment and the Midwest economy would be damaged if the funding were cut – and the fishing and tourist industries would also suffer. 

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