Jun 12, 2015

EPA Awards Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Shoreline Cities Grants

The green infrastructure projects are designed to reduce flooding and prevent storm water from washing contaminants into waterways

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding EPA Shoreline Cities Grants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Shoreline Cities grants totaling more than $430,000 to four cities in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan to fund green infrastructure projects that will improve water quality in Lake Michigan.

Highland Park and Wilmette, Ill.; Michigan City, Ind.; and Muskegon, Mich., are among 11 cities across the Great Lakes Basin which will receive funding totaling over $1.8 million through the current round of GLRI Shoreline Cities grants. EPA Region 5 Administrator/Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman made the announcement at an event in Ohio.

“These cities along Lake Michigan will use EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Shoreline Cities grants for green infrastructure projects to protect the lake,” said Hedman. “Green infrastructure captures and filters rain where it falls – to reduce flooding and to prevent storm water from washing contaminants into our waterways.”

The following projects will be funded by grants:

  • Highland Park, Ill., ($88,775) will install porous pavement at Rosewood Park Beach to prevent the discharge of 18,000 gal of untreated storm water into Lake Michigan each year.
  • Wilmette, Ill., ($8,000) will plant trees to intercept rainwater and facilitate filtration, which will prevent the discharge of about 40,000 gal of untreated storm water into Lake Michigan each year when the trees mature.
  • Michigan City, Ind., ($224,823) will construct rain gardens, bioswales, plant native trees and install porous pavement along six blocks of Wabash Street to prevent the discharge of 30,000 gal of untreated storm water into Trail Creek and Lake Michigan each year.
  • Muskegon, Mich., ($110,448) will construct a wetland, a bioswale and rain gardens to prevent the discharge of more than 5 million gal of untreated storm water into Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan each year.

“This federal funding isn’t only an investment in the health and beauty of Lake Michigan, it is also an investment in the streets, homes, and businesses on Chicago’s North Shore,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin. “When extreme weather causes flooding, our cities and our waterways suffer, leaving taxpayers and the environment to pay the price. That is why I have joined with Congressman Mike Quigley to push for a federal study on how we can expand mitigation efforts—like the green infrastructure projects funded through the EPA’s Shorelines Cities grants—and gain a better understanding of flooding in our cities.”

Great Lakes Shoreline Cities grants fund up to 50% of the cost of green infrastructure projects on public property. The projects include rain gardens, bioswales, green roofs, porous pavement, greenways, constructed wetlands, storm water tree trenches and other green infrastructure measures designed to improve water quality in the Great Lakes basin.

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