"These multiple grant awards are directed at both new-start
and ongoing projects that support our Great Lakes Program
to Ensure Environmental and Economic Prosperity," said
Commission Chairman Nathaniel E Robinson. "This is a
41-point package of legislative, program and appropriations
priorities unanimously endorsed by our eight members
states earlier this year. Augmenting these grants are
member dues to be directed toward our regional coordination
and advocacy efforts."
The Great Lakes Program presents seven goals to "Restore
the Greatness" to the world's largest system of fresh
surface water. It provides a blueprint for both congressional
and regional action. These goals are as follows, accompanied
by an overview of relevant projects receiving funds
to addess them:
Cleaning up toxic hot spots: The Commission is developing,
in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
a restoration plan for Lake St. Clair that identifies
and addresses pollution problems in this intensively
used, binational watershed. Cleanup efforts at Areas
of Concern are being addressed as well, thanks to the
Commission's work with Michigan's Statewide Public Advisory
Council. The Commission is also exploring possibilities
for linking brownfields cleanup and redevelopment with
greenfields protection, thanks to support from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency headquarters.
Shutting the door on invasive species: Working with
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Commission
is strengthening partnerships among the many public
agencies and private organizations with an interest
in aquatic nuisance species control. A pilot project
for the early detection and monitoring of nuisance invasive
species in Lake Michigan is also under way.
Controlling nonpoint source pollution: Through the
Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil Erosion and Sediment
Control, the Commission supports local efforts to control
soil erosion and sedimentation, and reduce sources of
sediment and associated pollutants to the Great Lakes
and their tributaries. Other projects seek to reduce
pollution from urban and agricultural runoff, and air
deposition, and feature data/information, technical
assistance and demonstration components.
Restoring and conserving wetlands and critical coastal
habitat: A long-term monitoring program for Great Lakes
coastal wetlands is being developed by the Great Lakes
Coastal Wetlands Consortium, a group of resource managers
and scientists convened by the Commission. The Commission
has also begun a two-year effort to assess and restore
the crucial wetlands and coastal areas of Lake St. Clair,
which features the largest coastal delta in the Great
Strengthening our decision support capability: A regional
water conservation toolkit, outlining water conservation
measures that can be adopted by public water suppliers,
water resource managers and other Great Lakes water
users, is being developed by the Commission. The project
supports the efforts of the Great Lakes governors and
premiers in their efforts to develop a new water withdrawal
decisionmaking standard for the region, as called for
in the Great Lakes Charter Annex of 2001.
Ensuring the sustainable use of our water resources:
The Commission has entered into a partnership with the
U.S. National Park Service to develop a water resources
management plan for Isle Royale National Park - the
first of a potential series of plans for national parks
in the Great Lakes region.
Enhancing the commercial and recreational value of
our waterways: The Commission is documenting the importance
of recreational boating to the regional economy and
identifying associated dredging and infrastructure needs.
The Commission has also initiated a comparative study
of the fuel efficiency, safety, and environmental aspects
of transportation alternatives such as maritime transportation,
truck and rail.
Support for these Commission initiatives is provided
by numerous U.S. federal agencies including the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. National
Park Service and U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Augmenting
this support are funds from various foundations, state
agencies and private sector sources.
Details on all newly funded projects, as well as the
Commission?s overall policy research and development
program, are available from Dr. Michael J. Donahue,
president/CEO at email@example.com or call 734-665-9135.