EPA seeks Great Lakes restoration proposals

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is requesting applications from states, municipalities, tribes and non-profit organizations for new projects to protect and restore the Great Lakes.

President Barack Obama has proposed $300 million in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in fiscal 2011. About $40 million would be allocated to the EPA for distribution through the competitive grant program. The final budget is subject to congressional appropriation.

“These grants will support critical work to protect the Great Lakes, which provide drinking water to 30 million Americans and support a multibillion-dollar economy,” EPA Region Five administrator and Great Lakes national program manager Susan Hedman said. “This year, we are particularly interested in projects that create new jobs – for instance, using a conservation corps model for environmental restoration.”

Grants are available to fund a range of projects, including work to target invasive species, to reduce the effects of toxic substances and non-point pollution, to protect public health and to clean up heavily contaminated “areas of concern” around the Great Lakes Basin.

Applications are due by noon on April 11. Webinars on the application process will be held at 10 a.m. on March 9 and March 17.

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