The U.S. EPA announced that it is making $30 million available for restoration projects across the Great Lakes through the new Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Program.
The program funds the implementation of environmental protection or restoration projects that further the goals of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in communities with environmental justice concerns.
The program will provide funding to “principal recipients" who will help underserved communities effectively access federal funding for important local projects.
EPA intends to award the principal recipient(s) up to $20 million in funding to create a broad, basin-wide Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Program and up to $10 million in funding to create the more localized Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Programs.
Applications are being accepted through August 11, 2023. More information about the Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Program and the request for applications is available here.
Qualifying non-profit organizations, institutions of higher learning (i.e., colleges and universities, including minority-serving institutions), state agencies, interstate agencies, federally recognized Indian Tribes and tribal organizations, and local governments are eligible to apply as principal recipients.
EPA will consider applications from potential principal recipients interested in setting up Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Programs to fund environmental restoration and protection work on a Basin-wide basis or on a smaller, more localized basis. EPA says that the projects funded through this program must improve the environmental health of the Great Lakes or Great Lakes watersheds through a variety of means, including:
- restoring, enhancing, or protecting habitat;
- reducing non-point source runoff through, e.g., green infrastructure, riparian restoration, shoreline stabilization, or other stormwater/nutrient reduction practices that will improve water quality;
- connecting aquatic resources, e.g., dam removals, culvert replacements, etc.;
- controlling or preventing invasive species; and
- providing hands-on, place-based environmental educational opportunities in the Great Lakes Basin.
EPA’s Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Program was made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which invests $1 billion in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to accelerate Great Lakes restoration and protection.
“The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has dramatically accelerated the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes Basin,” said Debra Shore, Regional Administrator of EPA’s Region 5 and Great Lakes National Program Manager. “This new Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Program builds on the additional GLRI funds provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will allow us to assist communities wishing to collaborate in restoring historically polluted sites.”
EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office will host several webinars to discuss the application process and answer questions from participants. More information on the upcoming webinars.