TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- At least 10 percent of all federal funding for harbor improvement projects will go to the Great Lakes region under newly approved congressional legislation.
The requirement is part of the $12.3 billion Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which the Senate approved Thursday.
The House earlier this week passed the bill, which now heads to President Barack Obama for signature.
Besides guaranteeing the Great Lakes a share of future harbor spending, the bill designates the lakes as a single navigational system for funding purposes. Supporters say that means smaller ports will have a better chance of getting money for maintenance work.
The bill also calls for more spending on harbor dredging and gives the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers greater authority to deal with invasive species such as Asian carp.