Ann Arbor — A nonprofit organization that promotes the federal government's multi-year cleanup program for the Great Lakes is offering help to groups that want to take part.

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition says it will divide up to $104,000 among groups that are ready to lead restoration projects but need help to pursue larger federal grants.

The "seed grants" provided by the coalition will be worth up to $15,000 each. The funding could help groups create partnerships, conduct initial studies and take other steps to make their federal applications stronger and more competitive.

The Obama administration's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has spent more than $1.6 billion on projects designed to help solve the region's most pressing environmental problems, including species invasions, toxic pollution, nuisance algae and habitat loss.

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