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EPA highlights projects funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in 2019

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Allison Lippert (

CHICAGO (Feb. 14, 2020) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its partners continue to support Great Lakes restoration and protection projects with Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funding. In 2019, more than 475 projects were supported which will fuel community revitalization efforts throughout the Great Lakes basin.

“The GLRI continues to play a critical role in protecting and restoring the Great Lakes,” said Region 5 Administrator and Great Lakes National Program Manager Kurt Thiede. “We look forward to building on this success as we further efforts to improve water quality, restore habitat and combat invasive species in the years ahead.” 

This week, as part of its 50th anniversary celebration, EPA is spotlighting actions that help protect America’s waters. Since its launch in 2010, the GLRI has funded more than 5,300 projects totaling more than $2.7 billion. Of the nearly 500 projects funded by the GLRI in 2019, noteworthy examples include:

  • A $3.7 million project to restore natural surface water flow patterns the flatwoods on Belle Isle in the Detroit River Area of Concern.
  • A $1.5 million project to continue efforts to protect Buffalo Reef, one of Lake Superior’s most productive fish spawning areas, from legacy mining waste.
  • Eight projects totaling about $22 million to protect the Great Lakes from Asian Carp under the FY 2019 Asian Carp Action Plan.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler recently unveiled the GLRI Action Plan III, which will guide the work of GLRI partners over the next five years.

GLRI funding is appropriated each year to EPA, which then provides portions to other federal agencies. The money funds projects that address the most important Great Lakes priorities, such as agricultural nutrients and stormwater runoff, contamination in “Areas of Concern,” invasive species and habitat restoration.

The GLRI website includes a summary table of projects and a searchable GLRI project mapper. EPA and its federal partners update the online project information on a semi-annual basis.

For more information about the GLRI, please visit: