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GLRI Trash Free Waters FY2021 Request for Applications (RFA)

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RFA for projects to address trash accumulation in the Great Lakes basin 

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) builds on the prior efforts of federal, state and local agencies, Indian tribes, businesses, public interest groups, interested residents and others to restore and protect the Great Lakes.

This RFA is expected to result in the award of grants and/or cooperative agreements to support the GLRI Action Plan III  Focus Area 4 (habitats and species), Objective 4.1 (protect and restore communities of native aquatic and terrestrial species important to the Great Lakes) by reducing the impacts of human activities such as trash, litter and debris in the Great Lakes. 

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Funding Opportunity

Great Lakes Trash Free Waters Harbors, Rivermouths, and Waterfronts (EPA-R5-GL2021-TFWR) 

Link to the RFA on

EPA seeks trash removal projects which include the use of devices/machinery to remove trash from Great Lakes rivermouths and harbors. This funding opportunity will support large-scale projects that use trash capturing devices to remove trash from Great Lakes harbors, rivermouths and waterfronts. The objective of this funding opportunity is to increase the number of Great Lakes communities with operational large-scale aquatic trash collection devices by funding the purchase of equipment that will continue to be used after project funding has ended. This funding is not intended to offset the costs of existing trash collection efforts or programs, nor is it intended to fund the removal of construction debris or abandoned vessels/vehicles. 

  • $5 million available for approximately 10 projects.
  • The maximum award is $1 million and minimum award is $300,000.

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Eligible Applicants

Eligible Not Eligible
  • Non-federal government entities
    • State agencies
    • Agencies or instrumentalities of local governments
    • Interstate agencies
    • Federally recognized tribes and tribal organizations
  • Nonprofit private agencies, institutions and organizations
  • Colleges and universities
  • Individuals
  • Foreign organizations and governments
  • Nonprofit organizations exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying
  • “For-profit” organizations

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Contact Information

Our responses to questions will be updated frequently and posted to this website.
If you have general and technical questions that have not yet been addressed, please contact the following staff at the EPA Great Lakes National Program Office:

  • General RFA Contact for administrative, eligibility, and other general RFA questions
    Victoria Raymond ( 312-886-7981
  • Technical Contact - for questions about Trash Removal from Great Lakes Rivermouths and Harbors
    James Schardt ( 312-353-5085

Sign up for the Great Lakes News email list to get information about funding opportunities to support Great Lakes environmental work and updates about Great Lakes environmental projects. 

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