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U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Applauds Over $800,000 from the EPA for Great Lakes Restoration

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin applauded the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement to award Wisconsin $815,294 in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grants. The five communities awarded grants were Algoma, Ashland, Manitowoc, Two Rivers and Wind Point. The funding will go towards projects to improve public health and water quality at municipal swimming beaches by preventing untreated storm water from getting into the Great Lakes.

“I am proud to champion strong funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative because it’s a critical program for our region, the health of our communities, and the protection of our clean water resources – combating invasive species, cleaning up polluted sites and restoring water quality.” said Senator Baldwin. “I applaud the announcement of these federal investments in Wisconsin communities.”  

Senator Baldwin has supported the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative since it began in 2010 as a comprehensive strategy to clean up the Great Lakes. As a member of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force and the Senate Appropriations Committee, she has consistently fought for full funding for the program.

The Brookings Institute has estimated that fully implementing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative would yield between $80-$100 billion in benefits across the Great Lakes states.

Senator Baldwin also introduced GLEEPA – the Great Lakes Ecological and Economic Protection Act – bipartisan legislation that would formally authorize the GLRI program and help communities combat invasive species, accelerate the cleanup of contaminated sediments from old industrial sites, protect fragile Great Lakes habitat, and improve water quality for the 30 million Americans who get their drinking water from the Great Lakes.

Additional information on the Wisconsin projects is below:

Algoma, Wisconsin ($175,000) will install infiltration basins, rain gardens and permeable pavement at Crescent Beach that will prevent more than 110,000 gallons of untreated runoff from reaching Lake Michigan.

Ashland, Wisconsin ($175,000) will construct infiltration swales, plant native vegetation and replenish beaches over 2.9 acres of land at Maslowski Beach to prevent some 219,000 gallons of untreated runoff from reaching Lake Superior.

Manitowoc, Wisconsin ($167,603) will install green infrastructure at Blue Rail Marina Beach to replenish the beach and improve nearshore water quality, preventing over 8,000 gallons of untreated runoff from reaching Lake Michigan.

Two Rivers, Wisconsin ($175,000) will construct wetlands at Neshotah Beach North that will improve water quality through natural filtering and reduce nutrient discharges, preventing over 10 million gallons of stormwater from reaching Lake Michigan.

Wind Point, Wisconsin ($122,691) will install bio-infiltration, plant native vegetation and replenish beaches at Wind Point Lighthouse Beach to reduce fecal pollution and prevent some 195,000 gallons of untreated stormwater from reaching Lake Michigan.