March 2, 2016 6:13 pm

Groups ask US presidential candidates to support Great Lakes

FILE - In this May 31, 2002 file photo, the sun sets over the Mackinac Bridge, the dividing line between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

AP Photo/Al Goldis, File

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Business, environment and government organizations in states bordering the Great Lakes are asking the presidential candidates to pledge support for cleaning up the region’s waters.

The groups on Wednesday released a priority list that includes spending at least $300 million a year on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which was established in 2009.

It focuses on fighting invasive species, reducing harmful algae blooms, cleaning toxic hot spots, reducing farm and city runoff, and restoring wildlife habitat.

The platform also requests funding for infrastructure improvements to protect drinking water, reduce sewage overflows, and support locks and ports essential to maritime commerce.

Kathryn Buckner of the Council of Great Lakes Industries says candidates who want to support the region’s economy should favour restoring and protecting the lakes as well.

WATCH: Ontario introducing new legislation to protect great lakes

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