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Great Lakes Shoreline Cities Green Infrastructure Grants

About the grants

In July 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency invited Great Lakes shoreline cities to apply for the first round of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Shoreline Cities grants.  These grants will be used to fund 50 percent of the cost of green infrastructure projects on public property to reduce urban runoff and sewer overflows that foul beaches and impair Great Lakes water quality. Eligible projects include:

 

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Sixteen cities will receive grants under the initial round of funding. So far, the following cities have received grants:

Buffalo, New York

The city of Buffalo and the Buffalo Sewer Authority received a $500,000 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to improve water quality in Lake Erie. Buffalo will use the EPA grant, along with $500,000 in funding from Empire State Development, to construct green infrastructure projects along a 1-mile section of Niagara Street. The projects include the installation of porous asphalt, stormwater planters, rain gardens and the reduction of impervious pavements. This section of roadway, which is a part of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail/National Scenic Byway, currently generates untreated stormwater that drains directly to the Black Rock Navigation Channel and the Niagara River. The green infrastructure projects will capture stormwater from approximately 15 acres along the Niagara Street right of way, resulting in the control of up to 4.9 million gallons of stormwater runoff per year and a significant reduction in the amount of road salt, nutrients, oil and grease and sediment flowing into the Niagara River.

Detroit, Mich.

The city of Detroit received a $1 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant for two green infrastructure projects in the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department’s Near East Side Drainage District. The first project will transform publicly owned vacant lots on Detroit’s Lower Eastside into green space consisting of meadows, trees and other vegetation. This will reduce the discharge of untreated stormwater into the city’s combined sewer system by approximately 100,000 gallons during significant storms. The second project involves installing green infrastructure at Detroit’s Recovery Park to reduce the discharge of untreated stormwater to the sewer system by approximately 1 million gallons during significant storms. The city received matching funds from the Erb Family Foundation and Kresge Foundation.

St. Clair Shores, Mich.

The city of St. Clair Shores received a $250,000 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to install rain gardens and porous pavement at Kyte Monroe Park. The green infrastructure will capture and treat stormwater runoff which flows through the storm sewer directly to Lake St. Clair. This project will prevent approximately 95,000 gallons of polluted water from entering Lake St. Clair during significant storms.

Duluth, Minn.


The city of Duluth, Minnesota received a $250,000 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to fund green infrastructure projects to improve water quality in the Lake Superior Basin.  The grant will be used for green stormwater management projects at three locations: the Lake Superior Zoo, the Atlas Industrial Brownfield Park and Chambers Grove Park. The State of Minnesota, the city of Duluth, the Duluth Economic Development Authority, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, and the U.S. Army Reserve will provide contributions totaling $250,000 to supplement the EPA grant. Installing green infrastructure at these sites will retain an estimated 200,000 gallons of stormwater and greatly reduce the amount of untreated stormwater discharged into the St. Louis River and the Lake Superior Basin.

Green Bay, Wisc.


The city of Green Bay, Wisconsin received a $500,000 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to fund a green infrastructure project to improve water quality in Lake Michigan. The city’s Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department will use the funds to install permeable pavement and bio-filter gardens in the Bay Beach Park to prevent untreated stormwater runoff from contaminating Lake Michigan. Installing green infrastructure will retain an estimated 280,300 gallons of stormwater.

Milwaukee, Wisc.

The city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin received a $1 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to fund green infrastructure projects to improve water quality in Lake Michigan.  Milwaukee will use the EPA grant, in combination with $2.1 million in city funding, to install porous pavement that will filter stormwater and reduce the amount of untreated runoff discharged to the Kinnickinnic, Menomonee and Milwaukee Rivers that flow into the Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern and Lake Michigan.

Racine, Wisc.

The city of Racine, Wisconsin received a $250,000 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to fund green infrastructure projects to improve water quality in Lake Michigan.  Racine will use the EPA grant, in combination with funding from the city ($101,190) and the Fund for Lake Michigan ($167,100) to construct green infrastructure projects in two city parks on the shore of Lake Michigan.  The city will install a series of bioswales and bioretention basins to capture and filter stormwater before it is discharged into the lake.

Cleveland, Ohio

The city of Cleveland, Ohio received a $500,000 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to install green infrastructure to absorb rainfall that will reduce the discharge of untreated stormwater near the city’s West Side Market to Lake Erie.

Lakewood, Ohio

The city of Lakewood, Ohio received a $107,500 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to install bioretention planters in Madison Park.  The project will reduce polluted stormwater runoff by an estimated 403,769 gallons annually and also reduce overflows from the city’s combined sewer system to Lake Erie.

Lorain, Ohio

The city of Lorain, Ohio received a $250,000 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to improve stormwater management at Lakeview Park on Lake Erie.  The new system will be located at the west end of Lakeview Beach and will consist of a wetland sand filter approximately 30 feet wide and 120 feet long, that will work with a disinfection-based pretreatment device.  The improvements will reduce the amount of bacteria in stormwater being directly discharged to Lake Erie and will reduce the frequency of bacteria-related beach closures.

Toledo, Ohio

The city of Toledo, Ohio received a$500,000 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to install bioswales (landscape elements designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water) and rain gardens along the city’s Silver Creek watershed and retrofit the city’s Cullen Park with sand filters and vernal ponds.  This project will prevent an estimated 645,000 gallons of untreated sediment and stormwater from discharging to Lake Erie.


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