Echo recently took a look at the finalists for $161 million worth of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants, breaking them down by state and group type. Here we’ll check out two more metrics: Biggest winners and GLRI focus areas.
But first, remember that these numbers are still preliminary. Finalists have until the end of June to submit the last paperwork before they’re eligible for the awards.
Also, the totals don’t account for subcontracts within grants. For example, Michigan State University is in line for $3.3 million in grants that it won outright, but it could see more initiative funds from other grant winners who have partnered with the school.
Top 10 groups, total dollars
Out of 136 finalists, these 10 groups stand to pull in nearly $60 million, which is 37 percent of the total $161 million.
1. Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment: $14.5 million for 29 projects, including two grants totaling $3.3 million for restoration work on Portage Creek, which is part of a Superfund site in southwest Michigan.
2. Central Michigan University: $10 million for one project, a broad coastal wetlands monitoring program put together by the Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Consortium. The plan is detailed in more than 200 pages on the Great Lakes Commission’s website.
3. Clarkson University (Potsdam, N.Y.): $6.5 million for one project, a Great Lakes fish monitoring program titled “Pushing the Science.”
4. The Nature Conservancy: $6 million for 9 projects, including two grants around $1.4 million each for work the the Maumee River and Green Bay/Fox River Areas of Concern.
5. Brown County (Green Bay): $4.2 million for four projects, including $1.5 million for habitat restoration in the Cat Island chain in lower Green Bay.
6. Ohio Environmental Protection Agency: $4.1 million for five projects, including $1.5 million for habitat restoration in the Ashtabula River Area of Concern.
7. University of Minnesota: $3.9 million for five projects, including $1.5 million for public outreach on invasive species.
8. Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District: $3.7 million for seven projects, including $1.1 million for a fish passage project in the Menominee River Area of concern and $878,000 thousand for projects to develop total maximum daily loads for four water bodies.
9. Michigan State University: $3.3 million for seven projects, including $1.5 million to educate health care providers about Great Lakes fish.
10. University of Illinois at Chicago: $3.3 million for three projects, including $239,000 for work on a reactive stormwater filter to prevent beach water pollution.
The top ten list treats the branches of the University of Wisconsin System (UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, etc.) as separate entities. Otherwise, the system would be fifth on the list with $4.9 million for 10 projects.
GLRI Focus Areas
The initiative focuses on five areas of Great Lakes restoration. Here’s how the grants shake out under those categories:
1. Habitat and Wildlife Protection and Restoration: $55 million for 64 projects, including $2.1 million for the Muskegon Conservation District’s habitat restoration in the White Lake Area of Concern.
2. Toxic Substances and Areas of Concern: $47 million for 41 projects, including $2 million for the City of Ishpeming’s diversion of Partridge Creek in the Deer Lake Area of Concern.
3. Nearshore Health and Nonpoint Source Pollution: $35 million for 104 projects, including $2.9 million for 15 Michigan DNRE beach projects.
4. Invasive Species: $15 million for 23 projects, including nearly $1 million for a New York State Department of Education project titled “Safe Dreissena Control: Breakthrough for Unionid Restoration.”
5. Accountability, Monitoring, Evaluation, Communication and Partnerships: $13 million for 30 projects, including $1.4 to the Great Lakes Observing System for tributary monitoring.