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EPA announces grants to advance clean-ups in Ohio’s Lake Erie Watershed and Areas of Concern

Five Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants, totaling nearly $3.6 million, recently awarded for restoration work across Ohio

11/19/2019
Contact Information: 
Rhiannon Dee (dee.rhiannon@epa.gov)
312-886-4882

For Immediate Release: No. 19-OPA117

CHICAGO (Nov, 19, 2019) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) Director Laurie Stevenson announced five separate grants recently awarded to Ohio EPA, Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC), Ohio Department of Natural Resources (Ohio DNR), and the Northeast Ohio Four County Regional Planning and Development Organization (NEFCO). The grants will be used to restore wetland habitats, control and prevent invasive species, and to continue cleanup and restoration work in Ohio’s Areas of Concern (AOCs). These grants are part of a larger effort to restore and protect the Great Lakes through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). Last month, EPA announced GLRI Action Plan III, an aggressive plan that will guide Great Lakes restoration and protection activities by EPA and its many partners over the next 5 years.

“Through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and our partners in the state of Ohio are working collaboratively to solve the complex environmental challenges facing the Great Lakes,” said EPA Great Lakes National Program Manager and Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp. “With these grants, EPA is reaffirming its commitment to the Great Lakes and to all those whose health and well-being rely on them.”

“These GLRI grants will help Ohio improve our areas of concern and support other important water quality priorities in the Lake Erie basin,” said Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson.

"This GLRI funding presents a great opportunity to restore wetlands that promote conservation and sound environmental management," said Ohio DNR Director Mary Mertz. "Wetlands are vital habitat for wildlife and play a key role in improving water quality by filtering runoff."

“The Cuyahoga River has had a very exciting and eventful year,” said Joe Hadley, Executive Director of Northeast Ohio Four County Regional Planning and Development Organization. “The results from this GLRI grant will further enhance the water quality and flow of the river. NEFCO Looks forward to working with our federal, state, and local partners on this important project.”

The Ohio GLRI grants include:

  • A $285,000 grant to Ohio DNR to improve wetland function in a coastal marsh and the Moxley Wetland Area on Lake Erie’s Sandusky Bay. The project will restore 433 acres of coastal wetland and 1.4 miles of shoreline.
  • A $374,865 grant to Ohio EPA and OLEC to stabilize 1,950 feet of streambank on the West Branch of Euclid Creek using native plants and to enhance 10.7 acres of existing forest through invasive species treatment.
  • $1,000,000 in incremental funding toward Ohio EPA and OLEC’s $2,497,258 grant to reduce approximately 515 to 715 pounds of phosphorus runoff per year and to protect and restore streams and wetlands by working with farmers.
  • $1,125,000 in incremental funding toward Ohio EPA’s $3,675,000 grant to develop and implement Lakewide Action Management Plans for Lake Erie and Remedial Action Plans for Lake Erie AOCs.
  • A $800,000 grant to NEFCO to remove the Canal Diversion Dam and the resulting impoundment, from the Cuyahoga River. The project will open a segment of the river to critical fish passage and historic free-flowing conditions and address other environmental impairments in the Cuyahoga River AOC.

For more information on GLRI, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/great-lakes-funding/great-lakes-restoration-initiative-glri.

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