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EPA Announces 2011 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grants For Detroit, Michigan 
More Than $2.2 Million for 4 Grants Go To Projects in the Detroit Area

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded organizations, agencies and universities working in the Detroit area more than $2.2 million in grants under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. These four grants are among 70 totaling nearly $30 million awarded by EPA under the GLRI in 2011.

“The President’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative aims to rehabilitate the ecosystem that is the foundation of this region’s economy,” said Cameron Davis, the EPA’s Senior Advisor to the Administrator on the Great Lakes. “For the regional economy to thrive, we need to accelerate our efforts to comprehensively attack problems such as habitat loss, invasive species and pollution that causes algae that choke beaches and fish life. Today’s investment will help make that happen.”

The grants were announced Aug. 26 at an event at Veterans Memorial Park in St. Clair Shores.

“The Great Lakes are the largest single source of fresh water on the planet,” said U.S. Rep. John Dingell. “I applaud today’s announcement of over 2.2 million to fund Detroit-area efforts to save the Great Lakes, one of the greatest treasures on the face of the Earth. By investing in these critical and urgent needs to protect the Great Lakes habitat and fight against pollution, we are making an indispensable investment in the future of our communities, our environment and our quality of life. Protecting this precious resource is also essential for our water infrastructure to maintain not only our public health, but also our fish, wildlife and the environment. I commend the EPA and Congressman Sandy Levin for their efforts on this project and their consistent dedication to the people, land and water that make up our beloved State of Michigan.”

Funded projects will advance the goals and objectives of the GLRI Action Plan, developed with 15 other participating agencies and several Great Lakes governors in February 2010.

"The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is vital to the long-term health of Michigan's most important natural resource,” Levin said. “These grants will target runoff pollution, coastal wetlands restoration, and hazardous and medical waste that afflict local rivers and streams in our area. They are an important step forward as we redouble our efforts to fully restore the Great Lakes."

The funded projects in the Detroit area include:
  • $254,406 – Macomb County (Eliminating E. coli Sources Impacting Beach Closures).
  • $534,689 – The Nature Conservancy (Detroit River-Western Lake Erie Cooperative Weed Management Area and Phragmites Control).
  • $500,000 – Wayne County – Department of Public Services (Toxics Reduction within the Rouge and Detroit River Areas of Concern).
  • $1,000,000 – Huron Clinton Metropark Authority (Reducing the Impact of Stormwater on Metro Beach).
The Great Lakes provide about 30 million Americans with drinking water and support a multibillion-dollar economy. Since February 2009, President Obama has championed 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 ensures accountability by including measures of progress and benchmarks for success over the next three years.

In addition to the EPA, the Great Lakes Inter-Agency Task Force that coordinates 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
FY 2011 awards by the EPA and other federal agencies will be published on the multi-agency website at http://www.glri.us.

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