The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has announced the recipients of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grants totalling more than $2 million to 13 cities in Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, New York, and Wisconsin. The grants will fund green infrastructure projects that will improve public health and water quality at municipal swimming beaches.

EPA senior advisor Cameron Davis made the announcement from an event at Lions Park in Sandusky, Ohio, with U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur and representatives of the cities.

Davis said, “Our beaches are the window to the Great Lakes for millions of residents and visitors from around the world. The purpose of the GLRI grants announced today is to protect public health and give more people the chance to swim, recreate and connect with the Great Lakes.”

The grantees anticipate their projects will capture or prevent over 13 million gallons of untreated stormwater from contaminating swimming beaches and getting into the Great Lakes.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said, “Northern Ohio’s shoreline cities are committed to doing their part to preserve Lake Erie. This investment will help Ohio cities build infrastructure that will protect local water supplies. By keeping small water sources clean, we can help clean up the Lake and keep it healthy.”

David Ullrich, executive director of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative said, “Cities all along the Great Lakes are working hard to connect with the water in ways that are good for the Lakes and good for the quality of life and economic well-being of the people who live there. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative deeply appreciates this recognition of the important role cities can play in the protection and restoration challenge, and notes that these investments are yet another example of how the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is making a huge difference on the shores and in the Lakes.”

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Projects being funded will include installing green infrastructure, rain gardens, bio-infiltrations, bioretention cells and more.

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