Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler unveiled an updated action plan under the Great lakes Restoration Initiative, GLRI, at Sunset Point in Belle Isle Park in Detroit. The GLRI Action Plan III will guide the actions of federal agencies and their many partners over the next five years to protect and restore the Great Lakes – adding funds to local and regional economies and community revitalization efforts across the basin. The EPA also announced $11 million in funding for grants to support GLRI projects in Michigan:
- $2.2 million grant to Alliance for Rouge Communities (ARC) to restore Tamarack Creek and Johnson Creek habitat flood plains in Rouge River Area of Concern (AOC).
- $380,000 grant to Wayne County to design habitat restoration projects in Rouge River AOC.
- $3.7 million grant to Michigan Department of Natural Resources to restore the natural surface water flow in flatwoods of Belle Isle in Detroit River AOC.
- $815,500 grant to Alliance for Rouge Communities to restore wetlands in Seeley Creek in the Rouge River AOC.
- $3.5 million to Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy to continue restoration work at 12 impacted sites on the Great Lakes and to coordinate the state’s lake-wide management plans for Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie as part of a new 3-year grant for $10.5 million.
Wheeler spoke about the unveiling of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan III, the commitment to the Great Lakes from the Administration and the USEPA, and the importance of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to continue valuable restoration work within the Great Lakes.
“…Great Lakes restoration is fundamental to meeting our goals, and EPA’s latest GLRI Action Plan and $11 million in new funding will help us do just that…said Wheeler.
Wheeler highlighted the valuable partnerships among federal and state entities involved in the GLRI and specifically called out the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USACE; the U.S. Coast Guard, USGS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who all had representatives in attendance.
Carl Platz, Great Lakes project manager for USACE represented the Corps at the event. Platz highlighted USACE's partnerships with other federal agencies, states, tribes, and the private sector and the importance of GLRI and these partnerships to accomplish important work in all five Great Lakes and the eight Great Lakes states.
“The Corps commitment to continuing to reduce the risk of Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes, removing contaminated sediments and Beneficial Use Impairments at Great Lakes Areas of Concern, and constructing ecosystem restoration projects throughout the Great Lakes,” said Platz, adding “the Action Plan III as an important link to the Corps past work and an opportunity for future work in collaboration with our partners.”
Additional information about the GLRI action plan and Administrator Wheeler’s visit is available on EPA’s Website: www.EPA.gov.