Great Lakes communities will use the funds to build green infrastructure that will keep millions of gallons of runoff out of the lakes.
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants totaling more than $2 million will help 13 U.S. cities build green infrastructure projects aimed at improving water quality.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the administer of the funds, is distributing the grants to 13 cities in Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, New York and Wisconsin. It is anticipated that the projects will capture or prevent over 13 million gallons of untreated stormwater from contaminating swimming beaches and getting into the Great Lakes.
For example, the town of Evans, New York, will be using its $172,125 award to install two rain gardens and two vegetated bioswales in Evans Town Park that will reduce bacteria at its beach and prevent about 221,000 gallons of untreated stormwater from entering a local park channel that flows directly to Lake Erie. In 2014, the beach was closed for nearly half of its 66-day season because of water pollution.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was launched in 2010 to accelerate efforts to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water in the world. It is the largest investment in the Great Lakes in more than two decades. Great Lakes Restoration Initiative resources are used by the EPA and 10 other federal agencies to strategically target the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem. Nearly 40 million Americans get their drinking water from the Great Lakes, and the lakes also support a multibillion-dollar economy based on fishing, boating and recreational activities.
Click here for more information about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.