Sustain Our Great Lakes announces $6.6 million in grants for 25 ecological restoration projects • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
Sustain Our Great Lakes

Sustain Our Great Lakes announces $6.6 million in grants for 25 ecological restoration projects

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Sustain Our Great LakesSustain Our Great Lakes, a public-private partnership supported by ArcelorMittal, announced Aug. 13 that $6.6 million in grant funding was awarded to 25 ecological restoration projects in the Great Lakes basin.

Approximately $8.2 million in additional project support will be leveraged by grantees, for a total on-the-ground conservation impact of $14.8 million, ArcelorMittal said in a statement.

The grants will support projects in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Canadian province of Ontario to sustain, restore and protect fish, wildlife and habitats. The projects will restore coastal wetland habitat, enhance the quality and connectivity of streams and riparian habitat, control invasive species, restore wetland hydrology, improve nearshore health and water quality through green stormwater infrastructure, and reduce sedimentation and nutrient runoff.

In Indiana and Illinois, The Nature Conservancy received a $219,340 grant to go along with $773,500 in matching funds. Its project will focus on controlling invasive species and enhance coastal wetland habitat at five sites in the bi-state Calumet Region.

“The Great Lakes region is home to 11 ArcelorMittal facilities as well as the many communities where our employees and valued stakeholders live, play and work,” said Bill Steers, general manager of communications and corporate responsibility for ArcelorMittal’s Americas region. “Our commitment to produce safe, sustainable steel transcends our physical operations and includes sustaining the vitality of Great Lakes ecosystems for future generations.”

Sustain Our Great Lakes is a public-private partnership that supports habitat restoration throughout the Great Lakes basin and advances the objectives of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a federal program designed to protect, restore and enhance the Great Lakes ecosystem. It is administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), which receives funding and other support from ArcelorMittal, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Collectively, the 25 projects receiving grants will:

  • Restore 72 miles of stream and riparian habitat
  • Reopen 103 miles of river for fish passage
  • Remove or rectify 12 barriers to aquatic organism passage
  • Control invasive species on 1,422 acres of wetland, upland and riparian habitat
  • Restore 1,400 acres of wetland habitat
  • Prevent more than 2,500 tons of sediment from entering waterways annually
  • Add 161 million gallons of stormwater storage capacity
  • Install more than 180,000 square feet of green stormwater infrastructure
  • Prevent more than 33,000 pounds of nitrogen and 8,000 pounds of phosphorus from entering waterways annually

Since 2006, Sustain Our Great Lakes has awarded 312 grants worth more than $73.6 million and leveraged an additional $85.2 million in matching contributions, for a total conservation investment of over $158.8 million.


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