From the Great Lakes Commission:

One of the most ambitious environmental restoration efforts ever proposed for the Great Lakes appears imminent following the emergence from a House-Senate conference committee of legislation providing $475 million for a comprehensive Great Lakes restoration and protection initiative.

“We call on the House and Senate to approve, and the President to sign into law, the conference committee report. Our region is well prepared and ready to get to work cleaning up polluted hot spots and restoring recreational opportunities that are vital to local economies,” said Great Lakes Commission Chairman Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) was proposed by President Barack Obama in his 2010 budget to focus on the most critical environmental concerns facing the Great Lakes, including invasive species, toxic sediments, nonpoint source pollutants and wildlife habitat loss. Following passage by the House at the $475 million funding level sought by President Obama, the measure was approved by the Senate at $400 million. A conference committee announced agreement yesterday on $475 million to support the first year of the Initiative. Read more.