May 30, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Administration proposes updated Great Lakes plan

Traverse City — The Obama administration is proposing an updated blueprint for Great Lakes environmental restoration that puts greater emphasis on climate change and using science to select projects and measure their effectiveness.

Congress has appropriated roughly $1.6 billion for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, with the first installment in 2010. The administration is proposing to extend the program another five years.

The initiative is designed to accelerate progress toward dealing with the freshwater seas’ most pressing environmental threats, including toxic pollution, invasive species, loss of wildlife habitat and runoff that causes toxic and nuisance algae blooms.

A task force including 11 federal agencies and led by the Environmental Protection Agency released a draft of the updated plan Friday for public review. A final version is scheduled for adoption by Oct. 1.