(CHICAGO – Sept. 1, 2011) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today awarded $4.7 million in grants to Michigan organizations and agencies under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The 12 grants (to 11 organizations and agencies) are among 70 grants totaling nearly $30 million awarded by EPA under the GLRI in 2011.

“These grants are an investment to accelerate Great Lakes restoration, community by community,” said EPA Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman. “This is another important step toward lasting protection for waters that affect the health and jobs of millions of Americans.”

Previously, at events in Detroit and Traverse City, EPA awarded 11 other grants totaling $7.1 million in Michigan.

Funded projects will advance the goals and objectives of the GLRI Action Plan, which EPA developed with 15 other federal agencies in 2010.

The new funded projects include:

· $281,612 – Michigan Technological University (Harmful Algal Bloom Mapping for the Great Lakes).

· $665,000 – Macatawa Area Coordinating Council (Targeting Critical Agricultural Areas with Best Management Practices).

· $247,159 – Central Michigan University (Establishing Gull Exclusion Zones at Public Beaches).

· $198,750 – Les Cheneaux Watershed Council (Eurasian Watermilfoil Strategic Biological Control Program).

· $265,380 – Northeast Michigan Council of Governments (Northeast Michigan-Lake Huron Watershed Community Collaboration).

· $338,833 – The Nature Conservancy (Two Hearted Watershed Remediation and Plan Implementation).

· $376,180 – City of Whitehall (White Lake Area of Concern: Urban Street Stormwater Management – Low Impact Design).

· $422,209 – Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (Sediment Reduction in the Sebewaing River Watershed).

· $376,517 – Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (Sediment Reduction in the Swartz Creek Watershed).

· $890,735 – Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (Targeted Phosphorus Reduction in the Pigeon Creek Watershed).

· $500,000 – Michigan Department of Community Health (Assessing Michigan’s Beneficial Use of Sport-Caught Fish).

· $199,921 – University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment (Green Marina Education and Outreach Project, Phase II).