EPA hands out Great Lakes grants

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The Environmental Protection Agency awarded Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants Monday totaling $2,693,875 to organizations and agencies in Illinois, including $1.1 million to the Chicago Park District to protect and improve water quality at city beaches.

The grants are among 70 totaling nearly $30 million that the EPA is awarding under the initiative this year.

“These grants are an investment to accelerate Great Lakes restoration, community by community,” EPA Great Lakes national program manager Susan Hedman said in a statement. “This is another important step toward lasting protections for waters that affect the health and jobs of millions of Americans.”

The Chicago Park District will use the three grants announced Monday to groom the city’s 24 beaches on a daily basis, build a protective barrier to make swimming areas cleaner at Montrose or Rainbow beach and construct a culvert at the 63rd Street Beach.

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