Public dollars for natural resources

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Check out our coverage of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Echo is reporting occasional stories on a plan to invest new funds into restoring the Great Lakes.

The Stories

Great Lakes residents can be exposed to contaminants in the fish they eat. Aug. 26, 2009,
Federal agency proposes to study urine and blood of residents to evaluate effectiveness of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative: At least one agency is poised to find out if restoration projects will lower pollutants in people.

Ocean vessel assisted by two tugboats in Duluth-Superior harbor, Duluth, Minn. Photo by Jerry BielickiAug. 20, 2009,
New federal funding proposal could help kill exotic organisms in the ballast of Great Lakes ships: Preventing shipborne organisms from damaging the Great Lakes ecosystem is one target of the Obama Administration’s $475 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

 Aug. 13, 2009,
Phytofiters: Turning brownfields green: Some Great Lakes brownfields will turn green if Congress passes a $475 million restoration package. Literally.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative won't fix sewer overflows problems like this one in Akron, Ohio.  Photo: City of AkronAug. 11, 2009,
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds cannot be spent on region’s ailing sewers: The Great Lakes states have more outdated sewers dumping waste into local waterways than anywhere else in the country.

Aug. 7, 2009,
Column: Tell me what sucks about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative: I attended a Great Lakes public hearing this week that really wasn’t.

Aug. 5, 2009,
Advocates for cleaning Michigan toxic hotspots plot strategy for securing Great Lakes Restoration Initiative dollars: Federal agencies and Michigan residents looking to clean up Great Lakes toxic hotspots planned how to obtain a piece of the GLRI.

Aug. 3, 2009
Michigan residents urge public input for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative: Two messages were repeated: the public needs to be included in the Obama Administration’s $475 million plan to restore the Great Lakes, and there needs to be an effort to educate others.

July 31, 2009
Great Lakes toxic hot spots could get restoration boost from GLRI: A plan to spend $147 million to restore Great Lakes toxic hotspots is inspiring cautious optimism among those involved in a long and often frustrating cleanup process.

July 30, 2009
Great Lakes sturgeon targeted for recovery; GLRI funds may help : Ugly, huge and primitive – many people wouldn’t think twice about the dwindling numbers of lake sturgeon in the Great Lakes.

July 29, 2009
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks to protect Great Lakes islands, birds, under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative: The birds living on Great Lakes islands may be cut off from the mainland, but they are surrounded by its threats.

July 24, 2009
U.S. Great Lakes Restoration Initiative may restore fish passages, habitats: Old hydropower dams and roadways that cross streams can keep Great Lakes fish from traveling upstream to spawn.

July 23, 2009
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could play major role in Great Lakes habitat restoration: A federal agency better known for dredging harbors than building wetlands could soon have a bigger stake in restoring Great Lakes habitats.

July 21, 2009
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative may battle beach bacteria: Getting buried in the sand at the beach is a childhood rite-of-passage that could lead to vomiting or diarrhea.

More Great Lakes Restoration Initiative stories by Echo and others.

Your Turn

Poll: Should Great Lakes Restoration Initiative be spent on fixing sewers? Vote

Poll: How many projects should the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative fund? Vote here.

Poll: Does plan spend too much on studies and monitoring and not enough on actual cleanup? Vote here.

Shape our coverage. Tell us how or even whether you’d like to spend public resources on natural ones on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative forum.

Track Great Lakes Restoration Initiative coverage and chatter on Twitter at #GLRI.

Background Links

An Environmental Protection Agency Web site regarding the initiative

An EPA list of projects the restoration initiative might fund (PDF)

A fact sheet and frequently asked questions from the Great Lakes Commission (PDF)

Great Lakes Multi-Year Restoration Action Plan Outline (PDF)