The federal government has awarded $5.5 million for three Great Lakes protection projects in Michigan.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration designated the grants for the state and the University of Michigan.

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The biggest, totaling $3 million, will provide plant and animal habitat in the Saugatuck area.

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Additionally, the state will get $1.7 million to acquire property for ecological and conservation purposes in Houghton.

An $835,000 grant will go to the university for study of algal blooms and water quality in the Great Lakes.

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Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.