EPA Announces Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

EPA Announces Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today awarded organizations, agencies and universities working in Ohio $4,508,572 in grants under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The 11 grants are the first of 70 totaling nearly $30 million that EPA is awarding under the GLRI in 2011.

?These grants are an investment in accelerating Great Lakes restoration, community by community," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, who also serves as chair of the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force of federal agencies implementing the GLRI. "This is another important step toward lasting protections for the waters that affect the health and jobs of millions of Americans."

The grants were announced by EPA Senior Advisor to the Administrator Cameron Davis and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur at the University of Toledo?s Lake Erie Center. EPA will announce additional investments across the Great Lakes basin in the weeks ahead.

?A healthy Lake Erie is essential to our economic future. Wetlands restoration projects in the fragile Western Basin mean better drinking water, better fishing and better recreational opportunities,? said Rep. Kaptur.

Funded projects will advance the goals and objectives of the GLRI Action Plan, which EPA Administrator Jackson released in cooperation with 15 other participating agencies and several Great Lakes governors in February 2010.

The funded projects include:

  • $1,348,595, University of Toledo (Maumee River Area of Concern?Wolf Creek passive treatment wetland).
  • $498,612, Wayne State University (Toledo Harbor invasive species early warning system pilot project).
  • $242,837, Ohio Environmental Council (Lake Erie Lakewide Management Plan public engagement).
  • $331,669, The Nature Conservancy (Phragmites control on western Lake Erie shoreline).
  • $151,000, Delta Institute (Cleveland and Toledo e-waste reduction).
  • $425,160, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Cuyahoga River Area of Concern debris management system).
  • $369,472, Cleveland Metroparks (Invasive plant control in Cuyahoga River Basin).
  • $294,693, Cleveland Metroparks (West Creek ecosystem restoration).
  • $546,417, Ohio EPA (Lake Erie nutrient reduction).
  • $177,688, Ohio EPA (Fish deformity analysis).
  • $122,429, Ohio EPA (Ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force).

The Great Lakes provide 30 million Americans with drinking water and underpin a multi-billion dollar economy. In February 2009, President Obama proposed the GLRI, the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades.

The Action Plan, which covers FY 2010 through 2014, was developed by a task force of 16 federal departments and agencies to implement the president?s historic initiative. It calls for aggressive efforts to address five urgent priority ?Focus Areas?:

  • Cleaning up toxics and toxic hot spot areas of concern.
  • Combating invasive species.
  • Promoting near-shore health by protecting watersheds from polluted run-off.
  • Restoring wetlands and other habitats.
  • Tracking progress, education and working with strategic partners.

The plan also provides accountability by including measures of progress and benchmarks for success over the next three years.

The Great Lakes Interagency Task Force to coordinate federal and binational restoration efforts includes:

  • White House Council on Environmental Quality
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Department of the Army
  • U.S. Department of Interior
  • U.S. Department of Transportation
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Some of the other federal agencies that are part of the task force have their own grant programs under the GLRI. Today?s announcement only covers EPA?s grant program.

FY 2011 awards will be published on the multi-agency website at www.glri.us.

More information on the president?s GLRI and Action Plan are available at the same site.

For more Environment news, click here.

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