U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded two grants totaling $16 million to continue monitoring coastal wetlands and levels of contaminants in fish throughout the Great Lakes basin. The grants -- $10 million to Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and approximately $6 million to Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York -- will be funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and are part of a larger effort to restore and protect the Great Lakes.
EPA awarded CMU $10 million in research funding to monitor approximately 1,000 coastal wetlands in the Great Lakes over the next five years in support of EPA’s Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program, which began in 2011. The grant will help CMU monitor the health and trends in plant, invertebrate, amphibian, fish, and bird communities as well as water quality in Great Lakes coastal wetlands. This information provides vital information for Great Lakes coastal wetland restoration and other management efforts.
EPA also awarded Clarkson University approximately $6 million in GLRI funding to monitor legacy and emerging contaminants in top predator fish in each of the Great Lakes over the next five years as part of the EPA’s Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program, initiated in 1977. This research will evaluate long-term trends in contaminant concentrations in whole fish and assess changes in contaminant transfer through the Great Lakes food web.