The U.S. government has pledged to spend billions of dollars to restore the Florida Everglades — and now the Great Lakes states are trying to figure out how they can get a piece of the federal pie, too. For more than a year, the governors of the eight states have been meeting to formulate a plan for restoring the lakes. Slated to be released next month, the plan is likely to emphasize cleaning up toxic sediment; controlling non-native species; regulating the removal of lake water for use outside the region; keeping sewage and untreated waste out of the water; restoring and protecting wetlands and coastal habitats; and controlling stormwater runoff, among other issues. The money to meet such sweeping goals is unlikely to come any time soon: It took Florida more than a decade to get federal dollars for the Everglades, and, to make matters worse, plenty of other regions are trying to follow the Everglades example, too. “Everyone took notice of what Florida got. Even in Washington, that’s a lot of money,” said Chris Jones, head of the Ohio EPA.
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