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EPA announces $5.5 million in grants for Great Lakes cleanup and restoration in Wisconsin

Four Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants recently awarded to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Contact Information: 
Rhiannon Dee (

For Immediate Release: No. 19-OPA109

MADISON, Wis. (Nov. 4, 2019) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced four separate grants recently awarded to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to continue cleanup and restoration work in several Areas of Concern (AOCs) throughout the state; restore wetland habitats; and control and prevent invasive species. These grants are part of a larger effort to restore and protect the Great Lakes under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

“Through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and our partners, like Wisconsin DNR, are working together collaboratively to solve the complex environmental challenges facing our Great Lakes,” said EPA Great Lakes National Program Manager and Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp. “EPA is proud to announce these grants, and the projects they will fund, to bring Wisconsin Areas of Concern one step closer to delisting.”

“Protecting and restoring these irreplaceable waters and critical habitat areas are a priority for the people of Wisconsin. These investments are not only environmental successes, the much needed economic impact is tremendous,” said DNR Secretary-designee Preston Cole. “Many of communities get their drinking water from our great lakes and this is another effort to ensure we can provide safe, clean drinking water to all citizens. Funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is a shining example of our shared goal of healing the waters through one of the world’s largest freshwater restoration projects. We continue to make tremendous progress through working cooperatively with all our partners.”

The GLRI grants include:

  • A $225,000 grant to implement projects to restore wetland habitats in Lake Superior near the Flag River, the St. Louis River estuary, and Lake Michigan near the Little Manitowac River.
  • A $1,264,773 grant to implement invasive species control and prevention projects in the Lake Superior watershed including projects near the White River and on Clough Island in the St. Louis River estuary, in the Lake Michigan watershed near the Onion River, and near Shuet, Nicholas and LaBudde Creeks.
  • A $2,750,000 supplemental grant to remediate and restore the Bay View/Grand Trunk area in the Milwaukee River AOC; enhance 275 acres of wild rice in the St. Louis River AOC; open 5.07 miles of stream for fish passage on Little Balsam Creek within the St. Louis River AOC; implement the final phase of a project to restore habitat for the federally endangered Piping Plover at the Wisconsin Point Bird Sanctuary in the St. Louis River AOC; and analyze data to determine impairment status in the Sheboygan River AOC.
  • A $1,100,000 incremental award for the continued support of the development and implementation of Remedial Action Plans in Wisconsin AOCs.

For more information on GLRI, please visit: