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EPA Awards Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Shoreline Cities Grants to Wisconsin

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Peter Cassell (

CHICAGO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Shoreline Cities grants totaling more than $800,000 to four cities in Wisconsin to fund green infrastructure projects that will improve water quality in Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.

Manitowoc, Oak Creek, Sheboygan and Superior are among 11 cities across the Great Lakes Basin which will receive funding totaling over $1.8 million through the current round of GLRI Shoreline Cities grants. EPA Region 5 Administrator/Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman made the announcement at an event in Ohio.

"These Wisconsin cities will use EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Shoreline Cities grants for green infrastructure projects to protect Lake Michigan and Lake Superior," said Hedman. "Green infrastructure captures and filters rain where it falls - to reduce flooding and to prevent stormwater from washing contaminants into our waterways."

"Protecting the Great Lakes is vital to Wisconsin's long term economic security and our quality of life," said U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin. "I am proud to be a strong supporter of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which made these grants available to help our coastal communities make the Great Lakes healthier for everyone who uses them through green infrastructure projects to improve water quality and wildlife habitat."

The following projects will be funded by grants announced today:

Manitowoc, Wisconsin, ($89,699) will construct a rain garden along the Blue Rail Marina Beach to prevent the discharge of 115,000 gallons of untreated stormwater into Lake Michigan each year. Oak Creek, Wisconsin, ($250,000) will install porous pavement in a parking area and construct a bioretention pond on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan to prevent the discharge of over 1 million gallons of untreated stormwater into the lake each year. The conversion of this former industrial brownfield into a city park will provide public access to the shoreline for the first time in 80 years.
Sheboygan, Wisconsin, ($239,459) will construct bioswales near storm sewer outfalls at King Beach and Deland Park Beach to prevent the direct discharge of untreated stormwater into Lake Michigan and to improve water quality for beachgoers.
Superior, Wisconsin, ($250,000) will construct a wetland near Superior Bay to reduce the amount of stormwater that reaches the combined sewer system and would otherwise overflow into Lake Superior.

"The city of Manitowoc is excited about receiving this grant to assist with upgrades along our beautiful lakeshore," said Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels. "Lake Michigan is our greatest asset and we must do everything we can to preserve it."

"The transformation of the Lake Vista shoreline area from an abandoned brownfield to a public asset is extremely important to the Oak Creek community and represents our commitment to the residents and businesses of our city to improve and enhance our environment," said Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi. "The green infrastructure improvements funded through the EPA's Great Lakes Shoreline Cities grant will be aesthetically appealing enhancements that will help clean stormwater from upland areas, create opportunities for habitat, and illustrate our commitment to stewardship of Lake Michigan and our shoreline. We are honored to have been selected to receive funding in order to help implement these features. This assistance will help us continue to improve our region's water quality, protect our native flora and fauna, and shape the future stewards of Lake Michigan."

"Lake Michigan is a key asset for the city of Sheboygan and needs to be protected for future generations," said Sheboygan Mayor Michael Vandersteen. "By receiving these grant funds, the city can increase our efforts to protect this great lake by removing debris and preventing direct discharge into Lake Michigan. We are thankful to the EPA for offering this opportunity for visitors and residents to the city of Sheboygan."

"Living at the farthest inland tip of the Great Lakes, on the shores of Lake Superior, we all recognize the benefits we receive from the world's largest freshwater lake," said Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen. "Lake Superior provides us not only with breathtaking views of its natural beauty, but fresh drinking water, a world class fishery, the largest Great Lakes port, tourism opportunities, and our thriving economy. The city of Superior is excited to receive funding for creation of a wetland basin to remove pollutants from storm water runoff before it enters this important water body. This project is particularly important as it will also remove stormwater from our combined sewer system and prevent basement back-ups in our central business district."

Great Lakes Shoreline Cities grants fund up to 50 percent of the cost of green infrastructure projects on public property. The projects include rain gardens, bioswales, green roofs, porous pavement, greenways, constructed wetlands, stormwater tree trenches and other green infrastructure measures designed to improve water quality in the Great Lakes basin.

Additional information about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Shoreline Cities Green Infrastructure Grants is available at