- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

DETROIT (AP) - U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow has been elected co-chairwoman of the Senate’s Great Lakes Task Force.

The Michigan Democrat will join Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois in leading the bipartisan working group. It advocates for programs benefiting the Great Lakes environment and oversees regulatory agencies that deal with the lakes.

Among the group’s top priorities is continuing federal funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which focuses on problems such as toxic pollution, invasive species and runoff that causes toxic algae blooms.

Stabenow previously has sponsored legislation to ban oil and gas drilling in the lakes and to require federal action that would shield them from invasive Asian carp.

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