A sneak peek at GLRI proposals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave us a peek this weekend at what groups vying for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative cash hope to do with it.

The deadline for the EPA’s first request for proposals under the GLRI was Jan. 29. The agency reports that it took in 1,057 proposals for $946 million worth of projects.

A list of every proposal is available here, though there isn’t much to learn besides the first five to 10 words of each proposal’s title. For example: somebody, somewhere, would like some amount of money for a “Mine Tailing Assessment: Environmental Assessment.”

More revealing is a table on the EPA’s Web site that breaks down the proposals by state. Among Great Lakes states, Michigan did the most proposing, with 348 submissions totaling $219 million. Pennsylvania had the fewest, with 15 projects worth $10 million.

Here’s my question: what are these “Non Great Lakes states” that submitted 42 proposals for projects worth a whopping $323 million? That’s nearly $100 million more than Michigan’s total and gets there with 300 fewer projects. Are they the interstate agencies or stateless non-profit groups that the EPA said were also eligible for funding?

Whoever they are, they’ve got big ideas. Their 42 proposals average $7.7 million each. Proposals from the Great Lakes states and Canada average only $614,000 each.

More amateur statistical analysis:

Though Michigan’s 348 proposals were nearly twice as many as Wisconsin’s 190, Michigan also has three times the Great Lakes shoreline, with 3,250 miles. In fact, Michigan only requested $67,500 per mile of shoreline. Illinois, on the other hand, requested $966,000 per mile. But Illinois’ 63 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline includes Chicago, where there is presumably plenty of restoring to do.

The EPA plans to hand out around $120 million to cover up to 400 projects and could start picking winners as soon as Feb. 28, according to the original request for proposals.

4 thoughts on “A sneak peek at GLRI proposals

  1. Pingback: Finalists announced for $161 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants: Who are they? | Great Lakes Echo

  2. Jeff… I noticed the non-Great Lakes state proposals too and was curious. I think your questions about eligibility and the nature of the proposals are good and fair ones. Since you put a spotlight on the issue, why not ask the EPA. Here’s a press contact if you don’t already have one. Cannon.Phillippa@epamail.epa.gov.

    Let us know if they respond.

    Thanks, Gary Wilson

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