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EPA Awards 21 Grants to Combat Invasive Species in the Great Lakes Basin

Release Date: 10/02/2012
Contact Information: Anne Rowan, 312-353-9391, rowan.anne@epa.gov

CHICAGO (October 2, 2012) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced 21 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GRLI) grants totaling nearly $8 million for projects to combat invasive species in the Great Lakes basin in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin.

“These EPA grants will prevent the spread of invasive species, increase the accuracy of early detection techniques, and control non-native flora and fauna that have invaded the Great Lakes basin,” said Susan Hedman, Great Lakes National Program Manager / Region 5 Administrator. “These projects will improve the environmental health and economic vitality of the world’s largest freshwater system.”

Over the last three years, the GLRI has provided $172 million for the prevention, detection and control of invasive species in the Great Lakes ecosystem. Approximately $80 million of this GLRI funding is being used to support the interagency Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework.

Invasive aquatic animal species compete with or prey upon native species and damage habitat. Non-native terrestrial and aquatic plant species can force out native plants and take over large areas of habitat, making the Great Lakes ecosystem less diverse and less resilient.

Today’s announcement is the most recent in a series of announcements to highlight EPA’s 2012 GLRI grants for restoration and protection projects. The GLRI, initially proposed by President Obama in February 2009, is the largest investment in the Great Lakes in more than two decades. More information about the Initiative is available at www.glri.us.

A full list of EPA 2012 grants for project to combat invasive species is available at www.epa.gov/greatlakes/glri/invasives.html.