The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant of $1,679,104 to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to increase its efforts to protect and restore Wisconsin’s Great Lakes coastal wetlands.
“This funding will enable our state partners in Wisconsin to safeguard and restore key habitats along Lake Michigan’s shoreline,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
“These grants are crucial to protecting our Lake Michigan shoreline,” said Regional Administrator Secretary Cathy Stepp. “Projects funded by this grant will enhance Wisconsin’s coastal wetlands so that they may continue to be enjoyed by communities and visitors.”
EPA funding will enable WDNR to administer six different projects that will focus on long-term protection and restoration of coastal wetlands and increasing connectivity in streams.
Work will restore hydrological conditions, re-establish native vegetation and protect existing high-quality habitat sites. These projects are expected to protect, restore or enhance 1,223 acres of coast wetland habitat and 463 acres of other habitats in the Great Lakes basin.
Additionally, six miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and riparian corridors will be restored and 1.5 miles of Great Lakes tributaries will be reopened.
Since 2010, EPA has provided states with Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funds totaling more than $300 million. GLRI resources are used to strategically target the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem.