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Congress approves bill that helps Great Lakes

Veronica Volk
Great Lakes Today

Congress' approval of a spending bill will renew funding for a program that aids Great Lakes waters and surrounding lands.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has funded everything from water treatment upgrades to fish spawning habitats to toxic cleanups.

Since its implementation in 2010, money from the initiative has gone toward over 3,000 projects across the region.

Under new water spending legislation, the initiative will continue to be funded at $300 million a year over the next five years. People who work on environmental projects say this renewal is important for the long-term health of the lakes.

"All of these projects are long term," says Jill Jedlicka, executive director of the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper. "When you deal with river restoration or habitat restoration, it's not just done in a nice, neat 2-year time frame."

The bill also allocates funds to projects addressing lead in Flint, Michigan's water.

Veronica Volk is a Reporter/Producer for WXXI News. She comes from WFUV Public Radio, where she began her broadcasting career as a reporter covering the Bronx, and the greater New York City area. She later became the Senior Producer of WFUV’s weekly public affairs show, Cityscape. Originally from Ocean County, New Jersey, Veronica got her B.A. in Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University, concentrating on Media, Culture, and Society.