EPA Announces First of $30 Million in Great Lakes Restoration Grants

The U.S. EPA today announced the first of its 2011 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative awards, providing 11 grants to Ohio organizations totaling more than $4.5 million. In a press release, the EPA announced it will be awarding 70 awards for nearly $30 million over the next few weeks.

The Ohio awards 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).

Responding to the announcement, Jeff Skelding, director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, said:

“Today’s announcement is good news for people, communities and businesses. Efforts to restore the Great Lakes are already producing results. These grants will allow that effective work to continue. But there is still more work to be done.”

Read the full statement here.

The EPA’s announcement comes as the U.S. Congress works to craft a 2012 budget. The U.S. Congress funded the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $300 million in the 2011 budget. The 2012 House Interior and EPA spending bill includes $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative—along with several bad policy riders and funding cuts to core programs, prompting the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition to oppose the bill.

The EPA has not announced when it will award grants to recipients in other states.

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