On August 3rd, the Great Lakes Commission announced via press release that it would be receiving $2 million in funding for 14 projects to reduce harmful phosphorus and sediment in the Great Lakes basin. The fund will come from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, facilitative by an agreement between the Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Phosphorus and sediments are being targeted because they’ve caused great harm to the Great Lakes Basin. The Great Lakes commission states that “polluting phosphorus and sediments … [cause] massive economic and environmental losses and damages and contributing to the formation of Harmful Algal Blooms and dead zones.” Recent examples of locations which have phosphorous and sediment concerns include Toledo, OH’s ongoing efforts to combat algal blooms and Peninsula Harbour’s (Lake Superior) thin layer sediment cap in Jellicoe Cove.
The 14 projects were chosen by the Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program, which, according to the Great Lakes Commission, prefers to award grants to nonfederal agencies and nonprofit organizations to carry out the initiatives in a “grassroots approach.” The Great Lakes Commission touts its history of working on collaborative projects with local, state, and federal partners to reduce non-point source pollution:
“Over its nearly thirty-year history, this program has supported 438 projects to reduce the input of unwanted sediment, nutrients, and other sediment-borne pollutants into Great Lakes, reducing soil erosion by an estimated 2 million tons and phosphorus loadings by 2 million pounds.”
The funding recipients are as follows: