According to The Michigan Messenger, the Obama administration has proposed to set aside $475 million in the 2010 budget to help remedy the problems the Great Lakes have been experiencing due to their increased toxicity. In addition to reducing toxicity, the money will protect wildlife and their habitats, decrease pollution around the shores, and fight invasive species. Adding in the money to upgrade the sewage and drinking water systems, the new proposition, if passed, would increase the federal contribution to the Great Lakes to more than $1 billion (madison.com).
This may seem like a hefty sum for the restoration of an ecosystem but, according to a widely cited 2007 study by the Brookings Institution, a $20 billion cleanup effort could result in $50 billion of economic benefits in tourism, increased property values and decreased medical problems. A nonprofit CEO, Cameron Davis is Obama's choice for "Great Lakes czar" (Dome Magazine). An individual who works well with businesses while maintaining his staunch position on Great Lakes advocacy is surely deserving of the title..
Naysayers opposing the bill will most likely cite the Superfund disaster that occurred under Bush, which cleaned up nothing more than citizens' bank accounts. There's a catch to the "new Superfund" though: the money will actually go toward cleaning up Great Lakes instead of to the corporations. Davis will make sure of that.
“Obama Wants to Pump $475 million into Great Lakes Cleanup by John Flesher May 15, 2009
“Obama Wants $475 million for Great Lakes Protection” by Ed Brayton 2/3/09 The Michigan Messenger
The Panelist.com Opinions April 24, 2008