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June 24th 2016

Community Benefits from Kinnickinnic River Rivitalization

Communities along the Kinnickinnic River in Milwaukee, Wis. are benefiting from Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding that has been used to remove concrete channelization and naturalize the space. We have previously written about this work on the Kinnickinnic as a success story, which you can read here. More powerfully, though, community members have documented what the clean up work means for them and their community. A vision for what the river will be in the future and how it will transform and reunite the community is perhaps the most powerful part of this Great Lakes restoration success story.



You can read more about the video and the producer in this article. Collaborators on this project included: Milwaukee Earth Partnership, Latino Earth Partnership, Urban Ecology Center, Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, and Escuela Verde School.

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June 21st 2016

Public Comment on EPA’s Environmental Justice Strategy Open until July 7

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding and allocations, is taking public comment for their Environmental Justice Strategy, EJ 2020. You can read the proposed strategy here. The public comment period is open through July 7 and feedback can be submitted to the EJ Strategy email account at:

In an EPA blog, the strategy is described as building “on Plan EJ 2014, as well as decades of significant environmental justice practice within communities and among our governmental partners and stakeholders, we have crafted a strategy that envisions an EPA that integrates environmental justice into everything we do, cultivates strong partnerships to improve on-the-ground results, and charts a path forward for achieving better environmental outcomes and reducing disparities in the nation’s most overburdened communities.”

There are three overarching goals of the plan, each of which, if done well, have the potential to improve the quality of life for folks in the Great Lakes region:

  1. Deepen environmental justice practice in EPA’s programs to improve the health and environment of overburdened communities;
  2. Work with partners to expand our positive impact in overburdened communities; and
  3. Demonstrate progress on significant national environmental justice challenges.
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June 17th 2016

Senate Committee Passes Great Lakes Funding Bill

ANN ARBOR, MICH. – The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee today approved its 2017 Interior-EPA funding bill, which contains funding levels for several core Great Lakes programs. The spending bill also contains several provisions that roll back environmental protections. The action by the Senate comes a day after the U.S. House Appropriations Committee passed its spending bill.


Commenting on the bill, Todd Ambs, campaign director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, said:


“Millions of people who depend on the Great Lakes for their drinking water, jobs, and way of life will benefit from these investments. Unfortunately the bill also contains several very counterproductive provisions that weaken Clean Water Act protections. We need both strong funding and effective policies to ensure that we protect our Great Lakes, drinking water, environment and economy. While we’re making progress, the Great Lakes and our communities still face serious threats. We urge the Senate to support successful Great Lakes programs that are producing results and reject attempts to weaken protections that undermine restoration efforts.”

More >

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June 15th 2016

Funding Opportunity: Chicago Area Restoration Funding Available

The Chi-Cal Rivers Fund has announced their 2016 request for proposals. Read the RFP here. The fund is offering up to $1.7 million in awards this year, with individual projects awarded between $100,000 and $300,000. Grant funding is available for work in the Chicago and Calumet region for projects focused on green stormwater infrastructure, habitat enhancement, or public-use improvement. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations; educational institutions; and state, tribal, and local governments. Deadline for submissions is July 27th, 2016. More information can be found on the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund website.

Additionally, Chi-Cal Rivers Fund partners will host a webinar on June 22, 2016 to provide information about this funding opportunity.  More >

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June 14th 2016

Watch: Great Lakes Mayors and City Officials Gather to Discuss Priorities

Thursday and Friday of this week, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative members will gather in Buffalo, N.Y. to hold their annual meeting. Mayors and city officials from around the region will come together to discuss shared priorities and issues of concern, including access to safe drinking water, challenges from climate change, the importance of sustainability, and the forecast for the 2016 algae bloom on Lake Erie. Detroit Public Television’s Great Lakes Bureau will be covering the events with live stream starting at 8:15a on Thursday, June 16 and starting at 8:30a on Friday, June 17.

Check out the live stream, below:

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  • 2016 Great Lakes Restoration Conference

    Registration for the 2016 Great Lakes Restoration Conference is now open! Reserve your spot today using the link on our Great Lakes Restoration Conference website. Our agenda is out and available for view online as well. More information will be filled in as it becomes available. This year we'll be in Sandusky, Ohio September, 20-22. We hope to see you

  • Great Lakes Restoration and Protection Presidential Platform

    We have joined with the Council of Great Lakes Industries, the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, the Great Lakes Commission, and the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition to urge the Presidential candidates to support our Great Lakes by endorsing the platform. Read more about the platform here.

  • Our Latest Success Story

    Check out our latest success story: Erosive stream banks on the Knife River were restored by reducing the stress from water flowing into the bank, decreasing sedimentation in the Knife River. Read more here. Click here for a full list of our success stories.