The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) is setting aside approximately $6 million for federal agencies to sign up unemployed workers to implement restoration projects in federally protected areas, on tribal lands and in areas of concern in the Great Lakes basin.
EPA will fund individual projects up to $1 million. To qualify for funding, each proposed project must provide jobs for at least 20 unemployed people.
Funded projects will advance the goals and objectives of the GLRI Action Plan, developed by EPA with 15 other federal agencies in 2010. Projects must provide immediate, direct ecological benefits; be located in areas identified as federal priorities such as national lakeshores or areas of concern; include a detailed budget, and produce measurable results. EPA will award funding for selected projects by the end of September.
The Great Lakes provide some 30 million Americans with drinking water and support a multi-billion dollar economy. Since February 2009, President Obama has championed the GLRI, the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades.