CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)–February 25, 2014. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the award of 11 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants totaling more than $5 million for projects to combat invasive species in the Great Lakes basin.
“These Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants will be used to target aquatic and terrestrial invasive species in the Great Lakes basin,” said Region 5 Administrator / Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman. “The projects will also help to prevent the introduction of new invasive species that pose risks to the Great Lakes ecosystem.”
Since the GLRI was launched in 2010, EPA has funded more than 70 projects totaling over $40 million to combat invasive species. Today’s EPA grant recipients are:
•Loyola University will receive a $500,000 grant for a project targeting invasive plants from 355 acres of ecologically critical coastal marsh and meadow in the Lake Huron watershed. The project will convert 800 tons of harvested invasive plant material into fuel pellets that will be used as clean fuel to heat homes and small businesses.
•Friends of the Forest Preserves will receive a $500,000 grant to continue GLRI-funded work to reduce and eradicate invasive plant species from over 277 acres of wetlands in the southern Lake Michigan watershed. People from the diverse community in the Lake Calumet area will be hired to carry out this conservation project.
•Friends of the Detroit River will receive a $470,000 grant for a project to control invasive plant species already present on Belle Isle in the Detroit River within the Lake Erie watershed. This project will also help prevent the introduction of new invasive species throughout the Great Lakes ecosystem by implementing an outreach/education program. Young adults from Detroit-area conservation programs will be hired for the Belle Isle project.
•Huron Pines Resource Conservation and Development (Michigan) will receive a $250,000 grant to expand upon an existing and highly successful phragmites early detection/rapid response program in the Lake Huron watershed in northeastern Michigan. The AmeriCorps program will help provide workers for this project.
•Michigan State University will receive a $500,000 grant for a project to test the effectiveness of an innovative “Push-Pull” technique to trap sea lamprey in the Lake Huron watershed. Historically, this species has been difficult to trap in large numbers.
•Michigan Technological University will receive a $500,000 grant for a project to prevent the spread of Eurasian watermilfoil, an invasive plant in Lake Huron and Lake Superior waterways.
•Ducks Unlimited will receive a $500,000 grant for a project to improve the quality of 205 acres of coastal marsh in the Lake Ontario watershed by removing and inhibiting the growth of invasive cattails.
•New York State Office of Parks will receive a $410,000 grant to establish a new boat stewardship/invasive species prevention program at 15 previously unmonitored boat launches and marinas along the shorelines of Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
•Paul Smith’s College will receive a $500,000 grant to continue GLRI-funded work to extend the Eastern Lake Ontario Headwaters Watercraft Inspector Program. Seasonal watercraft inspectors will perform 14,000 inspections.
•Lorain County, Ohio, will receive a $500,000 grant to control invasive plants, particularly phragmites, and to restore 30 acres of habitat in the Lake Erie watershed. Field staff will be hired as part of the Black River Civilian Conservation Corps.
•University of Toledo will receive a $ 500,000 grant to develop “next-generation e-DNA sequencing” technology to allow for identification of invasive mussels and insects from Great Lakes water and sediment samples. Since the GLRI was launched, EPA has awarded grants each year to states, municipalities, tribes, universities and nonprofit organizations.
For more information on the GLRI and grant projects, visit www.glri.us.