Restoration Challenge

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative set aside approximately $6 million for federal agencies that propose restoration work in federally-protected areas, on tribal lands and in Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes basin.  A key criterion for approvable projects was that they put at least 20 unemployed people to work.

Funded projects will advance the goals and objectives of the GLRI Action Plan. Projects will provide immediate, direct ecological benefits; are located in areas identified as federal priorities such as national lakeshores or areas of concern; include a detailed budget, and produce measurable results.

The GLRI Action Plan ensures accountability by including measures of progress and benchmarks for success over the next three years. It calls for aggressive efforts to address five urgent priority "focus areas":

  • Cleaning up toxics and toxic hot spot areas of concern
  • Combating invasive species
  • Promoting near-shore health by protecting watersheds from polluted run-off
  • Restoring wetlands and other habitats
  • Tracking progress, education and working with strategic partners

Challenge Projects

In October 2011, EPA announced which proposals would receive funding. More information about the projects — including how to apply for jobs — is available from the contacts listed below.

Expand habitat restoration work in the Huron Manistee National Forest

U.S. Forest Service, $592,400

The Forest Service will fund three projects: 1. habitat restoration (to accelerate recovery of species), 2. stream lake habitat improvements (stabilize and restore impacted stream slopes and roads), and 3. invasive species treatment (treat and control with mechanical and biological agents on known infestations).

Contact: Jeff Pullen (, 231-775-5023) or Kenneth Arbogast (, 231-775-5023)

Intensify and expand beach monitoring for fish and bird carcasses in the Great Lakes

U.S. Geological Survey, $994,350

USGS will use these funds to provide support for daily beach monitoring of selected beaches and associated laboratory analyses. This monitoring and associated analyses will promote understanding and prevention of botulism outbreaks and algae accumulations at beaches.

Contact: Sandra Morrison (, 734-214-9393)

Expand work with Great Lakes Basin tribal governments to complete GLRI related projects in Indian Country

Bureau of Indian Affairs, $876,810

BIA will use these funds to provide support for a variety of restoration projects, including invasive species removal, habitat and wildlife protection, wetland enhancement and restoration, and stream bank restoration.

Contact: Bob Jackson (, 612-725-4529)

Expand wetland restoration work in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

National Park Service, $891,225

NPS will restore former campsites with native vegetation, mitigate erosion from trails, control invasive plants in the lakeshore's dune ecosystem and, at former house sites, restore and protect piping plover habitat, reintroduce native plants, and control invasive species.

Contact: Steve Yancho (, 231-326-5134 ext. 421)

Expand work in the Maumee Area of Concern and the Lower Black River Area of Concern

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, $1,811,252

NOAA will use these funds to provide support for a variety of restoration projects, including invasive species management, wetland restoration, and clearing and re-planting habitats with suitable species and streambank plantings.

Contact: Lynne Chaimowitz (, 734-741-2256)

Expand existing ecological restoration and job training projects with the Grand Calumet Area of Concern

Environmental Protection Agency, $1,000,000

EPA will perform ecological restoration of oak savanna, wetland, lakefront, and other natural areas, expanding the total scope of ecological restoration which was scheduled to be performed at Marquette Park, in Gary, Indiana.

Contact: Peter Cassell (, 312-886-6234)

Expand work in the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge located in the Maumee River Area of Concern

Fish & Wildlife Service, $480,000

FWS will use these funds to provide wetland restoration and enhancement; establish and implement Nearshore health monitoring and coastline clean up; support for species mapping, control, monitoring and education outreach; bathymetric surveys; and Great Lakes ecosystem and restorations outreach and education.

Contact: Katie Steiger-Meister (, 612-713-5317)

More information

Last updated: 10-18-2011