Harkins: $1.55 million in funding to support Great Lakes water quality projects

ERIE, Sept. 16 – Projects to protect and improve water quality in the nation’s Great Lakes will move forward thanks to $1.55 million in grant funding awarded by the Great Lakes Commission, state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, announced today.

Harkins, who sits on the commission, said the grants – funded by the Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program – will support efforts to install nutrient- and erosion-control practices in the Great Lakes basin.

“Lake Erie and our other Great Lakes are unique and treasured resources, but we need to remain vigilant in combating erosion and runoff, which can damage water quality and the natural habitat,” Harkins said. “The grants announced today are going to advance those goals by funding projects to reduce the runoff of sediments, nutrients and other pollutants into the lakes.”

Harkins said the program provides competitive grants for projects not typically funded by other federal cost-share programs, which allows it to fund innovative and unique approaches. The 2020 projects focus on long-term sediment and nutrient management, streambank restoration and green infrastructure.

Funding for the Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). Over the past 10 years the program has awarded 126 grants totaling more than $21 million through the GLRI.