WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting applications for a total of $9 million in grants to fund up to 24 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) projects. These funds will address stormwater runoff pollution from land into the Great Lakes. 

“Lake Superior is the world’s largest fresh water lake, playing a critically-important role in our state’s character and economy by connecting Minnesota’s people and goods to the world,” said Smith. “These grants are important because they will help ensure the lake’s water quality remains healthy and vibrant by restoring vegetation near the lake, and reducing phosphorus runoff from nearby agricultural land. The grants could also fund projects to install green infrastructure in shoreline communities, such as permeable pavement. I'll keep working to direct federal dollars towards restoration efforts on Lake Superior and its surrounding watersheds.”

"The Great Lakes are a national treasure and vital to the economy and environment in Minnesota and our entire country," said Klobuchar. “We are grateful that this funding is available thanks to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. As one of the vice-chairs of the Great Lakes Task Force, I look forward to continuing our important work to protect the Great Lakes for generations to come."

The GLRI Grants are broken into three categories:

  • Green infrastructure in shoreline communities
  • Riparian restoration to reduce runoff
  • Legacy phosphorus in agricultural settings

State and interstate agencies, federally recognized Indian tribes and tribal organizations, local governments, institutions of higher learning and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for the GLRI grants. The deadline for applications to be submitted at Grants.gov is August 20, 2021. 

As one of the vice-chairs of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, Klobuchar is a leading advocate for the protection of the Great Lakes. She has worked to bolster pollution clean-up efforts in the Great Lakes, prevent diversions of Great Lakes water out of the region, and establish new water conservation and environmental protection standards in the Great Lakes area. 

Since its inception, the GLRI has tripled the successful cleanup and delisting of areas of concern throughout the country, reduced phosphorus runoff and the threat of harmful algal blooms, controlled and stopped the advancement of invasive species, and restored wildlife habitat over thousands of miles of rivers and waterways. Since 2010, the GLRI has provided more than $2.5 billion to fund 4,706 projects throughout the Great Lakes region.

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