Plan to spend more on water programs a positive move

We like an idea from Gov. Rick Snyder that would see, if it comes to fruition, an influx of new dollars into programs that support and restore Michigan waters, including the Great Lakes.

In a story Friday, the Associated Press reported that Snyder is calling for millions in new spending to backstop and improve programs such as beach monitoring and sewage processing and disposal.

AP reported that the plan includes $17 million for water quality programs including wetlands protection, battling invasive species and carrying out a water strategy that’s being developed for release in spring.

Additionally, Snyder’s fiscal 2015 budget includes $97 million for the second consecutive year for grants and loans to local governments for repairing wastewater treatment systems. The Department of Environmental Quality soon will announce which communities will receive money for this year, said AP.

It’s nigh on impossible to overstate the importance of Michigan waters. Billions of dollars are pumped into the economy by commercial trade alone, never mind the cultural and recreational impacts.

Although this plan deserves close scrutiny – and no doubt will get it in Lansing – at a glance it has our support.