Great Lakes Restoration Funding

Last week, as reported by the staff over at the Healing Our Waters coalition the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) is set to receive $300 million as part of the recent budget deal between congress and the President.

While this isn’t the $450 million of last year, or even the $350 million hoped for this year, it’s still a significant investment in the health of the Great Lakes and their contributing rivers. But what does this mean for Green Infrastructure? Well, it looks like it will be a boost.

According to the EPA’s GLRI, one of the five urgent issue areas that can be considered for GLRI funding is protecting near shore health by protecting watersheds from polluted runoff. This means if you have a green infrastructure project that will significantly reduce runoff from a site, you can apply for part of the $40 million of the GLRI that the EPA is responsible for.

Last years grant program only funded 4 or 5 projects that could be considered green infrastructure, out of 115 projects that were funded under the term near shore health. However until this green infrastructure was actually discouraged in favor of other restoration activities in the Lakes.

The deadline for proposals has just recently passed (a result of our country’s ongoing budget battles distorting the timing of the budget process) however I’m hopeful that more green infrastructure is on its way to protecting our Great Lakes’ water and shores.