Last Thursday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced 14 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants awarded to organizations in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan. The grants total $17 million and are focused on improving Great Lakes water quality, reducing runoff, and preventing soil erosion. Below is a list of the organizations that were awarded grants. You can find more information about each proposed project in the EPA’s press release, here.
In case you missed the past week in Great Lakes conservation news:
The Detroit Free Press reports that the EPA has designated a new Michigan Superfund site, prioritizing cleanup operations at the DCS McLouth Steel plant. The site poses the potential threat to leak contamination into the Detroit River and the Humbug Marsh wildlife refuge.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released a new report demonstrating how land use in the Great Lakes region has changed between 1996 and 2010, reports Michigan Radio. The report indicates significant changes, including large decreases in forested land and large increases in developed land.
Grand Rapids is asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct a barrier that will prevent invasive sea lampreys from moving up the Grand River, according to the Detroit Free Press. Prior to this the lampreys’ progress was blocked by a dam, but the city plans to remove that dam to restore the Grand River’s rapids.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the Ohio House and Senate have passed a bill aimed at curbing nutrient runoff to prevent the growth of harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. The final bill is awaiting Governor Kasich’s signature.
WANTED: Individuals to lead dynamic, engaging and fun field trips and presentations at the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition’s 11th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference in Chicago, Illinois, September 29-October 1, 2015.
The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition is issuing a request for field trips and presentations for the conference. Please share widely with your networks!
Deadline for submissions: May 8, 2015
Send applications, questions to Celia Haven at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Coalition’s annual 3-day Great Lakes Restoration Conference attracts more than 400 people from across the region to discuss cutting edge Great Lakes issues.
The Coalition is looking for engaging and compelling proposals for both field trips and presentations at this year’s conference.
- Field Trips: Exploring Great Lakes Restoration in Chicagoland
The Coalition is seeking fun, educational, inspiring and creative proposals for field trips in the greater Chicago area to highlight restoration success stories, environmental challenges, and cultural landmarks.
- Presentations on Great Lakes Restoration Issue Areas
The Coalition is seeking innovative, creative, engaging and compelling proposals for presentations in the below categories. Expanded issue area descriptions are included in the full Request for Proposals (attached).
A) National/Regional/State/Local Great Lakes Policy Issues
Examine cutting edge policy issues that impact people and the lakes. Presentation topics might include water policy, environmental justice, urban restoration, climate change, invasive species and the Great Lakes Restoration Intiative.
B) Innovative Great Lakes Restoration Success Stories
Discuss unique and successful restoration projects that showcase innovation and creativity. This category can also include projects that delve in to the economic benefit of restoration projects.
C) Grassroots Action that makes a Difference
Share innovative and compelling stories and strategies used to help win local, state, regional or national conservation victories.
D) Emerging Issues in the Great Lakes
Explore cutting edge research on existing or emerging threats to the Great Lakes—and what solutions are needed.
Deadline for submissions: May 8, 2015
Send submissions, questions to Celia Haven at email@example.com
Members of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force have released four letters to send to appropriators on a variety of important Great Lakes issues. The first letter urges appropriators to provide strong funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), which the Coalition would like to see fully funded at $300 million. One letter asks for strong Army Corps funding to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. Another asks appropriators to support NOAA programs that benefit the Great Lakes. Finally, there is a letter that urges appropriators to support Commissions that work in the Great Lakes Region–the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the International Joint Commission.
Sign-ons to the letter supporting GLRI funding is due tomorrow, March 25, by 5pm. All other letters are due Thursday, March 26, by 3pm. The letters are being led by the Task Force co-chairs, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Senators should contact their offices to sign on. So far, only Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) have signed on.
You may contact your Member of Congress via the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You may also reach out to your Representative via twitter.
UPDATE: The current sign on list now includes Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).
As we’ve written about previously, President Obama’s proposed budget for FY2016 cut funding to Great Lakes programs, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (which helps fund wastewater infrastructure projects). Another program that substantially impacts the Great Lakes region has also received cuts: Farm Bill conservation funding. A letter is currently being circulated by Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) to ask that Senate appropriators restore $800 million in funding to this program that impacts our nation’s waterways, including the Great Lakes. So far, the only Senator from the Great Lakes region to sign on to the letter is Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.).
You may contact your Member of Congress via the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You may also reach out to your Representative via twitter. The deadline for sign ons to this letter is Thursday, March 26, 2015. Offices should contact Sean Babington (email firstname.lastname@example.org) with Sen. Bennet’s office to sign on. More >