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Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Includes Basin Program for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control

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President Obamaís proposed Fiscal Year 2010 budget includes a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) that will accelerate Great Lakes restoration by investing $475 million to confront some of the most serious threats to the region, including invasive species, non-point source pollution and toxic sediments. It represents a significant down payment on a multi-year effort to restore the Great Lakes and help revive the regionís struggling economy.

The non-point source pollution reduction section of the GLRI proposes utilizing the Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control (GLBP), managed for the U.S. Department of Agriculture by the Great Lakes Commission. The proposed GLBP grant program would fund five to eight watershed projects, at up to $800,000 each, for technical and financial assistance to reduce sedimentation in the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative will be a multi-agency effort led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Funds are expected to be allocated to strategically implement federal programs as well as projects spearheaded by states, tribes, municipalities, universities, and other organizations. EPA will transfer portions of the appropriated funding to other federal agencies for distribution. It is estimated that 60% or more of the funding will be distributed to nonfederal entities through existing contracts and grants as well as new programs. Funding under the GLRI is intended to supplement, and not take the place of, existing federal activities.

Federal agencies will be expected to maintain their current base level of funding for Great Lakes activities. Federal and state agencies, tribes and nongovernmental partners are working together to address the most serious problems affecting the Great Lakes. Built-in institutional, technical and policy infrastructure, such as the GLBP, is largely in place to effectively administer large-scale funding for Great Lakes restoration. The Great Lakes Commission, along with its partners, is committed to ensuring that effective mechanisms are in place to coordinate activities with state priorities; and to monitor progress, ensure accountability, and achieve measurable results.

Great Lakes Commission des Grands Lacs.  2805 S. Industrial Highway, Suite 100.  Ann Arbor, MI  48104-6791.  phone: 734/971.9135.  fax: 734/971-9150. GLIN Partner