Thursday, February 26, 2009

More Post-Bush Progress: Obama To Fund Great Lakes Restoration

President Barack Obama's budget proposal contains $475 million - - real dollars to begin the long-promised, but unfunded Great Lakes restoration.

This is good news on several fronts.

First, obviously, is the need for a sustained effort to restore the Great Lakes.

Milwaukee Common Council President Willie Hines and Ald. Michael Murphy were right to praise Obama's commitment.

Pollution and invasive species have taken their toll on these unique waters: look no further than the algae-infested Lake Michigan shoreline in Milwaukee County to see the damage caused by zebra mussels, deposited in the water by ocean-going freighters, that spur algae proliferation and its resulting stench.

It's also important to note that the Obama administration is putting money behind its promises across the board, from Greta Lakes restoration, to health care reform to tax fairness, with public purpose at the foundation.

Finally, we're seeing that the Obama administration is giving resource management and conservation a top policy priority.

Environmental protection and resource management in the public interest was allowed to slide in the US, and across the Great Lakes, so it's high time the trend was reversed.

Remember when Dick Cheney said conservation was a private virtue?

Oh, how things have changed.

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