Wednesday, September 11, 2013

$1.5 Million For Milwaukee Estuary & Great Lakes Projects

Sep 11: U.S. EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe announced a new 2013 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant at Great Lakes Week in Milwaukee. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will receive more than $1.5 million for several Milwaukee Estuary and Great Lakes projects. Perciasepe said, "The Great Lakes are critical to our economy and support millions of American jobs. These investments build upon the progress we've already made to clean up the Great Lakes and all of our country's cherished waters." The grant announced will be used to:
• Inventory fish and wildlife populations in the Milwaukee area.
• Locate uncontrolled sources of sewage and evaluate their impacts on water quality.
• Restore and expand grassland habitat in the area and increase breeding opportunities for threatened grassland species.
• Assess the health of microscopic aquatic communities and of bottom-dwelling organisms in four Wisconsin AOCs, including the Milwaukee Estuary.

    Perciasepe also announced the Great Lakes Federal Interagency Task Force (IATF) priorities for fiscal year 2015 to help states, municipalities, tribes, business interests, environmental groups, the academic community and other partners plan their activities. On behalf of the Federal agencies that met in Milwaukee, he announced:

• Progress in developing the next GLRI Action Plan, covering fiscal years 2015-2019. The IATF has spent the past several months seeking input to inform the development of a draft FY15-19 Action Plan, which will be released for public comment in early 2014.
• In fiscal year 2015, the GLRI will likely continue with an emphasis on five focus areas (Toxics, Habitat, Nearshore Health, Invasive Species and Accountability) and within these three priorities: (1) Accelerating the cleanup of AOCs such as Milwaukee Estuary; (2) Preventing invasive species, such as Asian carp, from becoming established in the Great Lakes; Reducing runoff that causes harmful algal blooms in three priority watersheds – Wisconsin's Lower Fox River/Green Bay, Ohio's Maumee River and Michigan's Saginaw River.
• The next Action Plan will also emphasize the need to ensure that GLRI projects are not undermined because of changing weather patterns, in addition to many other needs raised by the Great Lakes community.

    Access a release from EPA (click here). Access the GLRI website for more information (click here).[#GLakes]

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