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CEQ Chair Sutley Announces Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grants Awarded to Milwaukee

Release Date: 09/27/2010
Contact Information: CONTACT: EPA Press Office press@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2010

WASHINGTON – Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin today to highlight several local projects that received funding in the first round of grant awards under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

"The Great Lakes greatly influence Milwaukee's environment, culture, and economy," said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. "These grants are part of our commitment to making restoring the Great Lakes a national priority. Working together, we will protect this essential resource for the benefit of Milwaukee, communities throughout the region, and the Nation as a whole.”

The grants, totaling roughly $4 million, were awarded to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage district. They will support projects that will:

    Establish “pollution diets” for the Kinnickinnic, Menomonee, and Milwaukee River Watersheds and the Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern
    Reduce nonpoint source pollution in the Green Tea Basin on Lincoln Lake, a tributary of the Milwaukee River;
    Restore a habitat on a portion of the Kinnickinnic River channel and floodplain in Milwaukee; and,
    Remove of a fish passage barrier between Lake Michigan and the Menomonee River watershed.

These funded projects will advance the goals and objectives of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan, which the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force – made up of representatives of 16 federal agencies and the Great Lakes governors – unveiled in February.

The Great Lakes provide some 30 million Americans with drinking water and underpin a multi-billion dollar economy. Since February 2009, President Obama has proposed significant funding as part of his Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades.

The initiative action plan, which covers FY 2010 through 2014, was developed by a task force of 16 federal departments and agencies to implement the president’s historic initiative. It was released with the Great Lakes area governors in February 2010 and calls for aggressive efforts to address five urgent priority focus areas:

Cleaning up toxics and toxic hot spot areas of concern;
Combating invasive species;
Promoting nearshore health by protecting watersheds from polluted run-off;
Restoring wetlands and other habitats; and
Working with strategic partners on outreach.

The plan also provides accountability by including measures of progress and benchmarks for success over the next five years.

The Great Lakes Interagency Task Force to coordinate federal restoration efforts is chaired by EPA Administrator Jackson and includes:

White House Council on Environmental Quality
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Commerce
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of the Army
U.S. Department of Interior
U.S. Department of Transportation
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Information on grant awards can be found at http://greatlakesrestoration.us.


More information on the president’s initiative and action plan: http://www.greatlakesrestoration.us