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News Releases from Region 05

EPA provides $1.65 million to Wisconsin for Great Lakes programs

Contact Information: 
Allison Lippert (

MADISON, Wis. -- (April 18, 2019) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $1.65 million to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to continue restoration work at five highly contaminated sites on the Great Lakes and to coordinate the state’s management plans for Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. This EPA funding is the first installment of an approximately $5 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant to DNR. 

“Today’s grant illustrates the value of federal and state partnerships in accomplishing our shared goal of restoring the Great Lakes,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Cathy Stepp. “This GLRI investment moves us that much closer to delisting highly contaminated Areas of Concern in Wisconsin and protecting the waters that communities depend on.”

“We are delighted to hear that we will be once again receiving this important federal funding to address the cleanup of these toxic hotspots,” said DNR Secretary Preston Cole. “Governor Evers has declared 2019 the Year of Clean Drinking Water in Wisconsin. Continuing to make progress on the removal of these contaminants is critical, which is why Governor Evers has also proposed an additional $25 million in his budget to provide the necessary state funds to complete the work on these sites.”

Under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the United States and Canada targeted 43 highly contaminated Areas of Concern, or AOCs, for cleanup. EPA’s GLRI grant supports work toward “delisting” the five AOCs in Wisconsin:

  • Lower Green Bay & Fox River
  • Menominee River
  • Milwaukee Estuary
  • Sheboygan River
  • St. Louis River

The GLRI grant also provides funding for staff who help develop and implement binational action plans for Lake Michigan and Lake Superior to address water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and invasive species issues.

Since 2010, EPA has provided states with GLRI funds totaling more than $300 million. Through these federal-state partnerships, more than 4 million cubic yards of contaminated sediment have been removed or otherwise addressed and more than 195,000 acres of habitat have been restored. 

For more information on GLRI, visit