EPA awards $10M, five-year grant for Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program

The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced that it has awarded a $10-million, five-year grant to Central Michigan University to continue implementation of its Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program.

NEW YORK, NY, Oct. 6, 2015 -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it has awarded a $10-million, five-year grant to Central Michigan University (CMU) to continue implementation of its Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program. CMU's project team includes SUNY College at Brockport and other institutions and agencies.

The project team will work on coastal wetlands monitoring around the Great Lakes basin. CMU had previously been awarded Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding for the first five years of this long-term EPA program. SUNY Brockport will use about $1.2 million of the grant money to monitor wetlands along the shores of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

"Wetlands provide enormous environmental benefits and help in [alleviating] harmful effects of climate change, such as protecting against flooding and potentially dangerous storm surges," said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. "This Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding will be used to gather data that will help identify areas where wetlands need better protection, allowing for more targeted preservation and restoration efforts."

The institutions and agencies working on this project will continue to implement a coastal wetland monitoring program throughout the Great Lakes basin while simultaneously evaluating ongoing and future restoration efforts. Project managers will assess fish, invertebrates, birds, amphibians, and plants, along with chemical and physical attributes, throughout the majority of the lakes' coastal wetland areas.

Work activities include sampling of selected wetlands for five years, data entry, data quality control, data management, and construction of a publicly accessible web-based data portal. The data and the results will be used to prevent further degradation and loss through future wetland protection. Restoration managers will be provided access to the data generated by this project as well as expert opinions on how monitoring results can guide future restoration activities.

Other institutions and agencies collaborating with CMU and SUNY Brockport on this grant include the University of Minnesota-Duluth, University of Wisconsin campuses of Green Bay and River Falls, Lake Superior State University, University of Notre Dame, Grand Valley State University, University of Windsor, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, U.S. Geological Survey, Environment Canada, and Bird Studies Canada.

See also:

"EPA announces over $1.8M in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants"

"Great Lakes shoreline cities offered $8.5M in EPA green infrastructure projects"

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