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GLRI Trash Free Waters FY2020 Request for Applications (RFA)

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Overview

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Trash Free Waters Fiscal Year 2020 RFA 

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) builds on the prior efforts of

  • federal, state and local agencies
  • Indian tribes
  • businesses
  • public interest groups
  • interested residents
  • and others

to restore and project the Great Lakes.

This RFA is expected to result in the award of grants and/or cooperative agreements to support the GLRI Action Plan III Focus Area 4 (habitats and species), Objective 4.1 (protect and restore communities of native aquatic and terrestrial species important to the Great Lakes) by reducing the impacts of human activities such as trash, litter, and debris in the Great Lakes.

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Awards

Trash Removal in Great Lakes Communities 

EPA Administrator Wheeler Announces Trash-Free Waters Grants... - July 21, 2020

  • $299,918 to the Alliance for the Great Lakes in Chicago: Cleaning of Great Lakes Beaches
    The Alliance will support volunteer efforts to clean beaches throughout the entire Great Lakes with their Adopt-a-Beach program. The Alliance expects to engage more than 40,000 volunteers across the Great Lakes Region to remove more than 100,000 pounds of garbage from Great Lakes beaches.
  • $300,000 to the Belle Isle Conservancy in Detroit: Detroit River Trash Removal Coalition
    Belle Isle Conservancy will establish a coalition to lead volunteer trash removal efforts along the Detroit River shoreline. The Conservancy expects to organize thousands of volunteers to remove over 30,000 pounds of trash from the Detroit River. 
  • $106,000 to the Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps in Milwaukee: Year-Round Roving Trash Marauders Engaging Next-Generation Conservationists 
    The Great Lakes CCC will engage approximately 5,000 public school students and teachers in year-round clean-up efforts. The activities will result in trash and debris removal from approximately 3,000 acres of beaches, harbors, and riparian corridors in southeastern Wisconsin.
  • $299,977 to the Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper in Buffalo, N.Y.: Rippling the Annual Spring Sweep to Unite the GL Cleanups
    Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper will mobilize volunteers to implement annual trash removal events and awareness campaigns in five Great Lakes communities. These events will mobilize 5,000 volunteers to remove 68 tons of trash from 17,120 acres of Great Lakes shorelines.
  • $171,695 to the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council in Holland, Mich.: West Michigan Beach and River Cleanup Coalition
    The Macatawa Area Coordinating Council will lead volunteer cleanup efforts, install trash and recycling receptacles, and remove large debris which has accumulated on eastern Lake Michigan shorelines due to high water levels and storm events.

Trash Removal from Great Lakes Rivermouths and Harbors 

EPA Administrator Wheeler awards first-ever Trash Free Waters grant for the Great Lakes in Milwaukee - June 15, 2020

EPA Administrator Wheeler Promotes Trump Administration Commitment to Clean Up Great Lakes, Support Ag Community in Northwest Ohio - July 20, 2020

  • $492,300 to Harbor District, Inc. in Milwaukee: Kinnickinnic River Trash Collector    
    Harbor District, Inc. and local partners will install a trash collection device in the Kinnickinnic River upstream of Lake Michigan. Floating booms will capture trash and other floating debris and direct it to the collection device.  Conveyor belts will then transfer the collected trash and debris to a dumpster located on the riverbank for proper disposal. The project will capture trash from a 16,000-acre watershed and is estimated to collect 75 tons of trash annually.
  • $414,000 to City of Toledo, OH: Functional Litter-acy: Trash Trappers for a Cleaner Toledo
    The City of Toledo will install trash collection devices along the shorelines of rivers that drain to Lake Erie. The trash traps will remove large amounts of litter and debris from the waterways before they get to Lake Erie.

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Funding Categories

Funding Opportunity Number appears in parentheses after each category. More details below this list.

Trash Removal in Great Lakes Communities (EPA-R5-GL2020-TFC)

EPA seeks trash removal projects at beaches and other recreation areas, shorelines, coastal wetlands, harbors, river mouths and riparian corridors immediately adjacent to the Great Lakes. 

  • Approximately $1,000,000 is available for approximately 10 projects. 
  • The maximum award is $300,000 and the minimum award is $50,000 for this funding category.
  • Projects may range in size from a small project that funds an individual community’s clean up to a larger project that supports and coordinates the funding of multiple communities through a single grant award.
  • Funding can support mobilization of cleanup volunteers and support staff, provide equipment for safe and efficient trash removal, and help offset the cost of recycling or disposing of the collected material. Projects may also include funding for the purchase and placement of appropriate waste receptacles to effectively contain trash in the future.
  • Any unproven and/or experimental trash removal devices are not eligible expenses under this funding opportunity.
  • Outreach and education about the funded cleanup activities are encouraged. However, projects must include trash removal. Projects that are solely focused on outreach and education activities are ineligible.
  • Coalitions are encouraged to apply for the “Trash Removal in Great Lakes Communities” funding to promote efficiency and enable funding in communities that would otherwise lack the resources and infrastructure to manage federal funding. 

Trash Removal from Great Lakes Rivermouths and Harbors (EPA-R5-GL2020-TFH)

EPA seeks trash removal projects which include the use of devices/machinery to remove trash from Great Lakes rivermouths and harbors. 

  • $1,000,000 available for approximately 3 projects.
  • The maximum award for this funding category is $500,000. The minimum award for this category is $250,000.
  • Funding will support the purchase and use of devices/machinery -- such as small vessels to skim or otherwise remove trash -- and can help offset the cost of recycling or disposing of the collected material. Projects may also include the purchase and placement of appropriate waste receptacles in the rivermouth and harbor areas to effectively contain trash in the future.
  • Any unproven and/or experimental trash removal devices/machinery are not eligible expenses. 
  • Outreach and education about the funded cleanup activities are encouraged. However, projects must include trash removal. Projects that are solely focused on outreach and education activities are ineligible.

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Eligible Applicants

Eligible Not Eligible
  • Non-federal government entities
    • State agencies
    • Agencies or instrumentalities of local governments
    • Interstate agencies
    • Federally-recognized tribes and tribal organizations
  • Nonprofit private agencies, institutions, and organizations
  • Colleges and universities
  • Individuals
  • Foreign organizations and governments,
  • Nonprofit organizations exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying,
  • “For-profit” organizations

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Contact Information

Our responses to questions will be updated weekly in the GLRI 2020 TFW RFA Questions and Answers document.
Revised RFA posted Jan. 17, 2020 - see Documents section below
Updated Q&A posted Feb. 13, 2020 - see Documents section below
If you have general and technical questions that have not yet been addressed, please contact the following staff at the EPA Great Lakes National Program Office:

  • General RFA Contact for administrative, eligibility, and other general RFA questions
    Victoria Raymond (glri-rfa@epa.gov) 312-886-7981
  • Technical Contact for questions about Trash Removal in Great Lakes Communities (EPA-R5-GL2020-TFC)
    Sara Westergaard (westergaard.sara@epa.gov) 312-353-9660
  • Technical Contact - for questions about Trash Removal from Great Lakes Rivermouths and Harbors (EPA-R5-GL2020-TFH)
    James Schardt (schardt.james@epa.gov) 312-353-5085

Sign up for the Great Lakes News email list to get information about funding opportunities to support Great Lakes environmental work and updates about Great Lakes environmental projects. 

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Documents

You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.