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New conservation program will help Great Lakes

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Organizations protecting the Great Lakes are being promised a big boost from the federal government.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent on conservation programs in eight significant regions of the country, including the Great Lakes.   The announcement was made near Bay City this afternoon. 

Vilsak says this program will look to new, innovative approaches involving the private sector to protect fragile watersheds.

“It’s about doing something that’s not been done to scale before,” says Vilsack, “We’ve had some extraordinary work being done here in the Great Lakes. Some extraordinary work in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. Which I think has led us to be more confident this is going to work.”

The plan is for the federal government to contribute half of the program’s two point four billion dollars over the next five years. The rest of the money would come from businesses and other private sector sources.

But Congress is debating possible cuts to federal conservation spending

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.