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Congress continues funding for Great Lakes

Key federal funding for the Great Lakes has survived again thanks to Congress.

This is the second time President Trump proposed a big cut to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. And Congress restored it full: $300 million for the 2019 budget year. 

Since 2009, the initiative has funded thousands of projects that help the Great Lakes by cleaning up pollution, combating invasive species, and protecting wetlands.

And it has received support from Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, says the public-private partnership helps protect the environment -- and the economy.

The House passed a $1.3 trillion budget Thursday; the Senate is expected to act on it by the end of this week.

The bill increases funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- agencies that are important to the Great Lakes. The Environmental Protection Agency’s budget remains the same, despite deep proposed cuts from Trump.

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Reporter/producer Elizabeth Miller joined ideastream after a stint at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C., where she served as an intern on the National Desk, pitching stories about everything from a gentrified Brooklyn deli to an app for lost dogs. Before that, she covered weekend news at WAKR in Akron and interned at WCBE, a Columbus NPR affiliate. Elizabeth grew up in Columbus before moving north to attend Baldwin Wallace, where she graduated with a degree in broadcasting and mass communications.