New GLRI Funding Announced Today
Today, the Environmental Protection Agency announced $20 million in new funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The funding was approved by Congress in December with an increase of $20 million for the GLRI, raising the annual total to $320 million.
Today's EPA announcement of how the funding will be spent was welcomed by Congressman John Moolenaar, Michigan's senior member of the House Appropriations Committee which approved the funding last year. He made the following statement:
“Right now, millions of Michigan residents are looking forward to when we can once again enjoy the Great Lakes with our friends and family. This new funding will go towards invasive species control, restoring habitats and protecting the Great Lakes for all of us. That’s why I worked in Congress on the House Appropriations Committee to support the GLRI and get this funding for Michigan."
The press release from the EPA details how the new $20 million in funding will be spent. It says:
- Accelerate the Cleanup and Restoration of Great Lakes AOCs ($7.5 million): The additional funds will be targeted to significant sediment remediation and habitat restoration projects to help meet the aggressive goals in GLRI Action Plan III to remediate, restore and delist U.S. AOCs.
- Fund Research and Development of Ballast Water Treatment Systems ($5 million): The additional funds will support further invasive species prevention by funding research and development of ballast water treatment systems for cargo vessels that operate primarily, but not exclusively, within the Great Lakes.
- Support the Great Lakes Trash Free Waters Grant Program ($2 million): The additional funds will continue efforts to provide healthy habitat for fish and wildlife by keeping trash out of the Great Lakes.
- Support Great Lakes states activities to reduce excess nutrient loads, restore habitat, and control and prevent invasive species ($5 million): The additional funds will be targeted for the highest priorities of the Great Lakes states to reduce excess nutrient loads, protect or restore habitat, and prevent and control aquatic invasive species such as Asian carp.
- Support Great Lakes National Program Office operations ($500,000): Additional funds are needed to support operations in the Great Lakes National Program Office.
The complete press release from the EPA is available here.