Thursday, June 6, 2013

Interactive Map Of Successful Restoration Projects

Jun 6: The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition (HOW) unveiled a new interactive map illustrating how Federal Great Lakes restoration investments are helping to successfully clean up toxic hot spots in the lakes, restore wetlands, reduce runoff from cities and farms and combat invasive species. The map features 60 successful Great Lakes restoration projects across the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and New York. Additional restoration success stories will be added to the map as more projects are completed. Chad Lord, HOW policy director said, "The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is producing results across the region. But more work remains. It's essential that Congress maintain funding for Great Lakes programs. If we cut funding, projects will be more difficult and expensive the longer we wait."

    The map provides a sample of successful Federal restoration projects across the region. It primarily features projects funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), which has received $1.36 billion during its first four years. The program has funded the removal of more than 1 million cubic yards of toxic sediment from Great Lakes harbors, restored 20,000 acres of wetlands, reduced polluted runoff and bolstered efforts to Asian carp from invading the lakes.

    State and Federal agencies have been working for years to clean up the lakes and restore fish and wildlife habitat.  The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has bolstered those efforts by providing unprecedented funding for restoration projects.  Highlights include:

  • The dredging of 140,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from Milwaukee's Lincoln Creek and the Milwaukee River channel.
  • Development of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, the first international wildlife refuge in North America. 
  • The first permanent ballast water treatment system on a Great Lakes freshwater ship, which was installed on a National Park Service ferry that transports visitors to Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior.
  • Renovations that allowed the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery in Pennsylvania to re-open. The renovated facility produces up to 1 million native lake trout annually for Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
  • Removal of toxic sediments along a 5-mile stretch of the Ottawa River in Toledo, Ohio, that posed a risk to people and wildlife—including major sportfish such as walleye and perch.

    Access a release from HOW (click here). Access the new interactive map (click here). [#GLakes/GLRI]

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