After all those public meetings and after reading through all our public comments, the EPA has just released the final draft of their plan for implementing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative from 2010 to 2014. They are asking for comments through January 8, 2010.
The Plan provides information about how the government plans to use the GLRI to address specific basin wide issues such as invasive species as well as local issues. The final plan will be released in February with the President’s new budget.
As invasive species, Asian Carp were always going get some fiscal attention from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding, and now EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, has announced that $13 million will go directly to trying to stop the carp from entering via the Des Plaines River and for continued DNA testing in the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal.
On another, but similar note, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative’s Interagency Funding Guide has been updated. It provides one-stop-shopping for applicants interested in applying for over $250 million in grants and project agreements available through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. These grants and project agreements are intended to jump-start achievement of the Initiative’s long term goals: safely eating the fish and swimming at our beaches, assuring safe drinking water, and providing a healthy ecosystem for fish and wildlife. The Interagency Funding Guide also includes status information on offerings which are open (offerings from EPA and Fish and Wildlife) and those which have closed (offerings from NOAA and through Sustain Our Great Lakes).