EPA Awards $16 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grants to Central Michigan and Clarkson Universities
CHICAGO – (April 20, 2021) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded two grants totaling $16 million to continue monitoring coastal wetlands and levels of contaminants in fish throughout the Great Lakes basin. The grants -- $10 million to Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and approximately $6 million to Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York -- will be funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and are part of a larger effort to restore and protect the Great Lakes.
“These grants are great examples of what the GLRI is all about – strong partnerships delivering positive results for the Great Lakes,” said Acting EPA Regional Administrator Cheryl Newton. “EPA looks forward to continued collaboration with Central Michigan and Clarkson universities on this important work to protect the Great Lakes.”
EPA awarded CMU $10 million in research funding to monitor approximately 1,000 coastal wetlands in the Great Lakes over the next five years in support of EPA’s Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program, which began in 2011. The grant will help CMU monitor the health and trends in plant, invertebrate, amphibian, fish, and bird communities as well as water quality in Great Lakes coastal wetlands. This information provides vital information for Great Lakes coastal wetland restoration and other managment efforts.
“I have worked with the scientists from EPA’s Great Lakes program since the late 1990s and look forward to continuing our partnership to protect and restore Great Lakes coastal wetlands,” said Donald Uzarski, director of CMU’s Institute for Great Lakes Research. “The Great Lakes program ensures that managers can make decisions about these critical ecosystems based on sound science while being proactive rather than reactionary. The success of the program is vital to both healthy ecosystems and a strong economy. I commend EPA for its dedication to the over 60 million people that rely on heathy Great Lakes.”
EPA also awarded Clarkson University approximately $6 million in GLRI funding to monitor legacy and emerging contaminants in top predator fish in each of the Great Lakes over the next five years as part of the EPA’s Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program, initiated in 1977. This research will evaluate long-term trends in contaminant concentrations in whole fish and assess changes in contaminant transfer through the Great Lakes food web.
“Global commerce, recreation enthusiasts and municipalities within the entire Great Lakes ecosystem rely upon the extraordinary science and innovative solutions from this research team addressing contaminant trends in fish and ensuring healthy water supplies,” said Robyn Hannigan, provost of Clarkson University. “Clarkson and its collaborators at the EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office are committed to applying their expertise to the environmental and resilient economic solutions that make a difference for the public good."
These projects are part of the larger effort to restore and protect the Great Lakes through the GLRI. Specifically, the funded work supports the GLRI goal of protecting and restoring the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes basin. In 2019, EPA announced the 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.
For more information on GLRI, visit: https://www.glri.us