Investing in the Great Lakes: GLRI in 2011

By Cameron Davis

Over the last few weeks, we have announced million of dollars in funding for EPA-Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant investments across the Great Lakes basin. The only way the Great Lakes will be restored is through partner organizations and agencies doing their best work on the ground and in the water.

Lake Erie has been hit hard by harmful bacteria and algae, which can choke our beaches and threaten aquatic life, which according to some estimates can cost communities around Lake Erie up to $300,000 annually per beach closure. That’s why we made our first announcement in Toledo, Ohio. We highlighted work to build and maintain wetlands that capture phosphorus and other kinds of runoff that contribute to this problem, among other projects.

In Michigan, we’re tackling stormwater and working to open up the Boardman River, the largest dam removal and modification project of its kind. The completion of this project will reconnect hundreds of miles of river with Lake Michigan.

We’ve also announced grant investments in other Great Lake States to support efforts to fight invasive species, bring back habitat, and clean up Areas of Concern. This is the second year of the GLRI and we have already seen results but we can’t stop there.

You can find a project going on near you by visiting and using the interactive map on the home page. Feel free to share your thoughts with me about Great Lakes restoration in the comment box below. You can also find out more about our Great Lakes restoration efforts at the site listed above or by following me on Twitter (@CameronDavisEPA).

About the author: Cameron Davis is Senior Advisor to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. He provides counsel on Great Lakes matters, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

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