More Than $2.6 Million for Nine Grants to Protect and Restore Lake Michigan
Chicago–(ENEWSPF)–Aug. 15, 2011. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today awarded Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants totaling $2,693,875 to organizations and agencies in Illinois, including $1.1 million to the Chicago Park District to protect and improve water quality at city beaches. These grants are among 70 grants totaling nearly $30 million that EPA is awarding under the GLRI in 2011.
“These grants are an investment to accelerate Great Lakes restoration, community by community,” said EPA Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman. “This is another important step toward lasting protections for waters that affect the health and jobs of millions of Americans.”
The grants were announced today at an event at Chicago’s 12th Street beach. EPA will announce additional grants across the Great Lakes basin in the weeks ahead.
The Chicago Park District will use the three grants announced today to groom the city’s 24 beaches on a daily basis, build a protective barrier to make swimming areas cleaner at Montrose or Rainbow beach, and to construct a culvert at the 63rd Street Beach. These actions should result in fewer swimming bans and advisories due to contamination. 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 include:
- $749,121, Chicago Park District (Enhancing Beach Management for Public Health in Chicago).
- $243,465,Chicago Park District (A Protective Barrier to Improve Public Health at Chicago Beaches).
- $182,500,Chicago Park District (Modification of 63rd Street Beach to Improve Water Quality).
- $200,000,Delta Institute (Lake Michigan Forum and Watershed Academy Implementation).$66,504, Alliance for the Great Lakes (Simple Avian Management Techniques for Cleaner Beaches).
- $226,950, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (Illinois/Lake Michigan Implementation Plan).
- $349,934, Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center (Dune and Beach Restoration for Lake Michigan Health).
- $675,401, Lake County Stormwater Management Commission (Dead Dog Creek Ravine/Stream Restoration Phase 2).
- $25,000, Shedd Aquarium Society (Great Teens for the Great Lakes: A New Generation of Advocacy.)
The Great Lakes provide some 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 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 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 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.