EPA Announces 2011 Great Lakes Restoration Investments in Wisconsin Grants Will Help Tackle Invasive Species, Protect Beaches (WI)
(CHICAGO – Aug. 17, 2011) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today awarded eight Wisconsin organizations and agencies $3,754,554 in grants under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. These grants are among 70 grants 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.”
Davis announced the grants today with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett at Discovery World on Milwaukee’s lakefront. EPA will announce additional grants across the Great Lakes basin in the weeks ahead.
"The Great Lakes and its tributaries are central to our quality of life in Southeastern Wisconsin," said Mayor Barrett. “From manufacturing, to agriculture, to recreation, a healthy lake and rivers makes it all possible.”
Funded projects will advance the goals and objectives of the GLRI Action Plan, which EPA developed with 15 other federal agencies in 2010.
The funded projects announced in Milwaukee include:
· $385,307 – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Reducing Invasive Plant Species in Trade in Great Lakes Water Bodies).
· $286,843 – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Red Swamp Crayfish Prevention, Containment and Eradication).
· $1,073,630 – University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (Implementation Mitigation Strategies at Wisconsin Beaches).
· $300,000 – Northland College (A Targeted Landowner Approach to Watershed Protection).
· $173,000 – Northland College (Lake Superior Binational Forum Lakewide Management Plan Implementation).
· $702,300 – Door County Soil & Water Conservation District (Implementation of Beach Management Practices to Improve Water Quality).
· $747,741 – Outagamie County Land Conservation Department (Plum and Kankapot Creeks Riparian Protection).
The Great Lakes provide 30 million Americans with drinking water and support a multi-billion dollar economy. Since February 2009, President Obama has championed the GLRI, the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades.
The GLRI Action Plan, which covers FY 2010 through FY 2014, calls for aggressive efforts to address five urgent priority “Focus Areas”:
- Combating invasive species.
- Promoting near-shore health by protecting watersheds from polluted runoff.
- 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 Interagency 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 are published on the multi-agency website at www.glri.us.
More information on the president’s GLRI and Action Plan is available at the same site.