The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making a $20 million investment in the Great Lakes through New York state to targeting the most significant environmental problems. These grants are part of a larger group of projects throughout Great Lakes states being funded under President Barack Obama’s Great Lakes Restoration initiative.
“These grants represent a critical investment in a place that is home to millions of Americans, billions of dollars in economic activity, and is by far the largest source of our nation’s fresh surface water,” said Cameron Davis, senior advisor to U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson in the announcement at the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes conference in Buffalo, N.Y. “President Obama has made protecting the Great Lakes a national priority. EPA is investing in a diverse network of partners to achieve a new standard of care: leaving the Great Lakes better for the next generation.”
The grant recipients include tribes, state and local agencies, non-profit organizations and colleges and universities. The recipients include:
Be Green in the Great Lakes: This project will encourage homeowners and land care providers to adopt organic land care practices that reduce water use and avoid the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) will initiate an education and outreach program that will disseminate brochures and web content, hold training sessions and introduce NYSDEC's "Be Green Organic Yards NY" program. The grant recipient is NYSDEC. The grant amount is $315,223.
Buffalo River Area of Concern Habitat Restoration—Riverbend: This project will result in the design, implementation and monitoring of a restoration project at the Riverbend site on the Buffalo River. This is a former industrial site and these efforts will help restore the area's natural habitat. The work will include 2,800 ft of riverbank enhancement, plus 6.3 acres of floodplain habitat restoration. Tasks include riverbank regrading to reduce soil erosion, planting native trees and shrubs, and removal of invasive plant species. Two years of vegetation surveys and monitoring will then occur. The grant recipient is the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper. The grant amount is $657,245.
St. Lawrence River Area of Concern and St. Lawrence River Sturgeon Restoration (two projects): The first project will focus on four beneficial use impairments (restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption, degradation of fish and wildlife populations, bird/animal deformities or reproductive problems, and loss of fish and wildlife habitat) in the St. Lawrence River in the Massena, N.Y., Area of Concern. Specifically, this project will monitor furbearers, turtles and birds, and conduct tissue analysis of wildlife to assist decision-makers considering restrictions on wildlife consumption. The grant amount is $1,229,415. The second project will advance efforts to restore lake sturgeon in the St. Lawrence River in the Massena, N.Y., Area of Concern, by investigating suitable spawning habitat, water quality and causes of reproductive failure. The project amount is $723,107. The grant recipient is the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.
For information on other awards being granted, visit http://greatlakesrestoration.us.
Source: U.S. EPA