A total of 44 projects that will help improve water quality have been selected to share more than $1.9 million in grants under the Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control.
The grants will support improved erosion and sediment control and sound land-use practices through demonstration grants, technical assistance and information/education projects. Recipients include conservation districts and other nonfederal units of government, nonprofit organizations and academic institutions in all eight states of the Great Lakes basin.
The program is administered by the Great Lakes Commission, with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service.
“Sediment is by far the number one pollutant by volume of waters in the Great Lakes basin,” said Commission Chair Tom Huntley. “It fouls waters that should be clear, smothers aquatic habitats and bears with it pesticides, fertilizers, oils and other contaminants that are washed off the land and into our waters. Controlling erosion and other sediment runoff is one of the best things we can do to improve the health of our waterways.”
Depending on the scope of the project, individual grants range from under $6,000 up to $75,000. Projects include such efforts as stabilizing river banks and steep slopes along ravines by planting vegetation and installing organic matting; educating farmers and other landowners on the desirability of establishing buffer strips of vegetation along waterways to slow runoff from adjacent fields; producing newsletters and other educational publications; promoting tillage and cattle-management practices that reduce erosion and sedimentation; modifying culverts and road crossings that contribute to erosion; installing stormwater retention basins; establishing wetlands to absorb storm water runoff and others.
In the 11 years it has been established, the Great Lakes Basin Program has supported nearly 400 projects and invested almost $12 million in water quality improvement efforts, in addition to bringing in more than $5 million of nonfederal matching funds for the projects.
“The Great Lakes Basin Program has been extremely effective in promoting direct, hands-on initiatives to improve water quality in our region,” Huntley said. “It’s a great example of a successful federal, state and local partnership that provides concrete benefits to our residents and our environment.”
A full list of all funded projects, along with a map and descriptions of each, is available here.
Contact: Gary Overmier, Great Lakes Commission, firstname.lastname@example.org