Grand Traverse Conservation District, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Among Eight Awardees Receiving Over $4.2 Million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Funding to Combat Invasive Species in Great Lakes
WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow today applauded an announcement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that Michigan will receive $4.2 million in grants from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to invest in ongoing efforts to combat invasive species and protect Michigan’s Great Lakes, including over $1.4 million for Northern Michigan.
“The Great Lakes are part of our way of life in Michigan, driving economic growth and providing safe drinking water for over 40 million people,” said Senator Peters, a member of the Great Lakes Task Force. “The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is essential to ensuring the Great Lakes are protected for generations to come. I applaud today’s announcement, which will support efforts in Traverse City and across Northern Michigan to prevent the spread of harmful invasive species and preserve the Great Lakes as a precious resource.”
“The Great Lakes are part of who we are and our way of life,” said Senator Stabenow, Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force. “This funding will help control invasive species and restore hundreds of acres of shoreline and wetlands in Traverse City and across Northern Michigan. Today’s announcement further underscores the importance of partnerships like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which invests in the health of our Great Lakes and waterways.”
The Grand Traverse Conservation District will receive $301,340 to work with local nursery and garden suppliers to promote the use of native species within communities on the shores of Lake Michigan. The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council will receive $641,077 to utilize control products to combat the threat of invasive zebra and quagga mussels. The Grand Traverse Bay Watershed will receive $499,370 to implement green infrastructure practices, such as pervious pavement and rain gardens, to reduce the discharge of stormwater runoff into Grand Traverse Bay. This funding comes through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Sens. Stabenow and Peters have been strong advocates for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is a multi-year plan to restore and preserve the Great Lakes by eliminating toxins, combating invasive species, restoring habitats, and promoting the general health of the Lakes. They are both cosponsors of the Great Lakes Ecological and Economic Protection Act, legislation that would authorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Great Lakes Legacy program that deals with contaminated sediments and the Great Lakes National Program Office within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
In February, the Senators introduced the Great Lakes Fishery Research Authorization, bipartisan legislation to provide better federal funding opportunities to update technologies and create new research projects to benefit the Great Lakes, and close the research gap between the Great Lakes Science Center and other fishery research centers around the country.