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President's 2006 Budget Request More Than Doubles Great Lakes Legacy Funding

Release Date: 02/04/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Cynthia Bergman 202-564-9828 /

(Washington, D.C. – 02/04/05) President Bush is requesting $50 million in the FY 2006 Budget to implement the Great Lakes Legacy Act. This is an increase of nearly $28 million and more than doubles the level funded by Congress in FY 2005.

"Ensuring the health of the Great Lakes is a high priority for this administration," said Ben Grumbles, assistant administrator for the Office of Water. "The president is requesting this substantial increase in the funding to support the commitment to leave the Great Lakes better than we found them."

Some of this money will help continue the remedial work at one of the major Great Lakes Legacy Act projects ---the Black Lagoon---located near Trenton, Michigan. Dredging and disposal of approximately 73,400 cubic yards of the contaminated sediment is currently under way. The dredging will be followed by spreading layers of sand and gravel over the affected area. Restoring the aquatic habitat within the Black Lagoon and preparing the site for recreational and economic redevelopment are the beginnings of revitalizing this valued area. Removing the contamination in this riverbed and providing a natural process for keeping it healthy mean every drop of water flowing through the lagoon will be cleaner.

The natural beauty of the Great Lakes is only one aspect of this vital national treasure. More than 30 million Americans located in cities and communities around the Great Lakes depend on the Great Lakes for their drinking water. The five Great Lakes make up the largest surface freshwater system on earth and are home to more than $1 billion dollars in the recreational fishing industry. Restoring and making the Great Lakes cleaner is essential to support the culture and ways of native communities. The Lakes support billions of dollars in shipping, trade, and fishing and provide food and recreational opportunities for millions of Americans.

President’s Executive Order 13340 is, in part, being implemented through a large-scale collaboration among the federal government, the Great Lakes states, local communities, tribes and others in the Great Lake region. The collaboration is working toward a December deadline for presenting a plan that will focus the efforts of all toward making the Great Lakes cleaner.

For additional information about the Legacy Act, the Black Lagoon, the Executive Order and Great Lakes collaboration visit: