The budget deal reached in Congress yesterday includes $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, the money is a big part of efforts in Northern Ohio to restore Lake Erie and the rivers that flow into it.
Jane Goodman is executive director of Cuyahoga River Restoration, which uses Great Lakes Restoration funding for projects that include restoring wildlife habitats, fighting invasive species and education. She hopes the new funding to help them finish some big projects.
“If we’re going to get the rest of the dams down, Gorge Dam, Route 82 Brecksville Dam -- which are essential for fish passage and for the complete health of the river system as well as recreation -- we’re going to need some of this Great Lakes Restoration Initiative money to come into the system here.”
Goodman says much of Ohio’s share of Great Lake Restoration funding has been allocated to fight the algae problems in Lake Erie’s western basin near Toledo, which she calls an appropriate use.