EPA Announces Great Lakes Restoration Grants

Agency awards more than $4.9 million for seven grants.
CHICAGO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it has awarded organizations and agencies working in the Boardman River Watershed and other nearby watersheds in Northern Michigan more than $4.9 million in grants under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. These seven grants are among 70 totaling nearly $30 million awarded by EPA 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. Sen. Carl Levin. EPA is expected to announce additional investments across the state of Michigan and the Great Lakes basin in the weeks ahead.

“Not only will these funds improve the natural environment, they will also support the regional economy,” said Levin. “One example of this investment is the Boardman River Dam Removal Project, the most comprehensive dam removal and river restoration project in the history of the Great Lakes. Once completed, this project will result in the restoration of over three miles of cold-water stream, 253 acres of wetlands and 57 acres of upland habitat and is expected to generate $3 million in economic value due to increased recreation, tourism and property values.”

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 in the Traverse City region include:

  • $1,000,000 – Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy (Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Project).
  • $86,829 – Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (Paradise Lake Pilot Boat Washing Station).
  • $667,971 – Nature Conservancy (Invasive Predator Suppression on Critical Spawning Reefs).
  • $887,723 – Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council (Little Traverse Bay Stormwater Management Initiative).
  • $767,648 – Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay (Grand Traverse Bay – East Bay Park Remediation).
  • $987,102 – Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay (Grand Traverse Bay – Suttons Bay Stormwater Remediation).
  • $533,161- Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay (Boardman River Dams Removal – Sediment Management).

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.

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