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First grants awarded in Michigan for President's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Release Date: 09/20/2010
Contact Information: J. Mike Rogers, 312-353-2102,

No. 10-OPA111

(DETROIT - Sept. 20, 2010) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced more than $2 million in federal grants to three Southeast Michigan organizations at a news conference in William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor, overlooking the Detroit River. The grants are part of President Obama's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a $475 million program that represents the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades.

A total of 99 grants for an estimated $63 million are expected to be awarded in Michigan. Funded projects will advance the goals and objectives of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan which EPA Administrator Jackson announced in cooperation with 15 other participating agencies and the Great Lakes governors in February.

Southeast Michigan Council of Governments was awarded $500,000 for its "Restoring the Lake Erie Corridor Through Green Streets" program. The funds will pay for construction of bioswales, tree trenches and grow zones to manage road runoff; reduction of annual stormwater runoff volumes, sediment and nutrient loading by approximately 50 percent; development of a Great Lakes Green Streets Guidebook transferable to municipalities; and installation of Green Streets signage for public education benefits.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment will receive $1,028,548 for "Rapid Response to Invasive Species." This project will use the best known methods to eradicate and control several invasive aquatic plant species that harm the Great Lakes. The program will help direct future resources for invasive species control to the most cost-effective, strategic and highest threat locations.

Wayne State University was awarded $519,564 for "Verification of Ballast Water Treatment Technology." This project is designed to develop technology that will help assess the effectiveness and durability of shipboard ballast water treatment systems. The applicant is collaborating with a ballast water treatment company to allow testing both in the laboratory and with actual shipboard ballast water operations.

The Great Lakes provide some 30 million Americans with drinking water and underpin a multi-billion dollar economy. EPA is awarding $475 million in grants for aggressive community-based efforts to address five priorities:

  • Cleaning up toxics and toxic hot spots around the Great Lakes.
  • Combating invasive species.
  • Promoting nearshore health by protecting watersheds from polluted runoff.
  • Restoring wetlands and other habitats.
  • Accountability and working with strategic partners on outreach.

In addition to EPA, the federal agencies that make up the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force are:
  • 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.

For more on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, please visit