WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded a total of $3,584,865 for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). The funding will be used to restore wetland habitats, control and prevent invasive species, and to continue cleanup and restoration work in Ohio’s four Areas of Concern (AOCs). These grants are part of a larger effort to restore and protect the Great Lakes through the GLRI. The awards include:
- $285,000 to Ohio Department of Natural Resources (Ohio DNR) to improve wetland function in a coastal marsh and the Moxley Wetland Area on Lake Erie’s Sandusky Bay,
- $374,865 to Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) and Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC) to stabilize 1,950 feet of streambank on the West Branch of Euclid Creek using native plants and to enhance 10.7 acres of existing forest through invasive species treatment,
- $1,000,000 toward Ohio EPA and OLEC to reduce approximately 515 to 715 pounds of phosphorus runoff per year and to protect and restore streams and wetlands by working with farmers,
- $1,125,000 toward Ohio EPA to develop and implement Lakewide Action Management Plans for Lake Erie and Remedial Action Plans for Lake Erie AOCs and,
- $800,000 grant to Northeast Ohio Four County Regional Planning and Development Organization (NEFCO) to remove the Canal Diversion Dam and the resulting impoundment, from the Cuyahoga River
“Lake Erie provides drinking water for 11 million people. We must do all we can to keep it healthy for them, and for the businesses, families, boaters, and anglers that rely on the lake,” said Brown. “We do that by ensuring the GLRI is operating at its full strength so communities can continue the necessary work to keep Lake Erie clean today and for the next generation.”
GLRI is a highly successful program that has jumpstarted restoration efforts to protect, maintain, and restore the chemical, biological, and physical integrity of the Great Lakes. Every dollar spent by GLRI on Great Lakes cleanup produces an additional $3 of economic activity in the region. Brown fought for and secured full funding for the GLRI program last year, putting the funding at $300 million. In Fiscal Year 2018, the President proposed eliminating GLRI and Senators Brown and Portman worked together to ensure it was not only reinstated but also fully funded in the two most recent appropriation bills.