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Traverse City – Advocacy groups are lobbying Congress to pump more money into programs to protect Great Lakes water quality.

More than 100 representatives of organizations in the region are in Washington, D.C., this week for an annual gathering in support of funding for Great Lakes priorities such as toxic pollution cleanups and fighting invasive species.

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition organizes the trip. Policy Director Chad Lord says a high priority this year is boosting federal investment in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

The coalition wants at least $8.6 billion for the purpose, which is three times the current spending level.

It also seeks $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and $3.8 million for work at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Illinois to block invasive Asian carp.

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