The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) new Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant program aims to advance environmental justice in underserved communities across the Great Lakes Basin. The USEPA announced $30 million is available from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for restoration projects that advance environmental justice in underserved and overburdened communities across the Great Lakes.
USEPA has published a request for applications for the newly created Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Program that will fund implementation of environmental protection and restoration projects that will further the goals of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) in communities with environmental justice concerns.
Many communities in the Great Lakes Basin lack the resources needed to apply for, obtain, and oversee the implementation of Federal grant projects. USEPA’s new Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Programwill ease these administrative barriers by funding “principal recipients” who will help underserved communities effectively access Federal funding for important local projects. In addition, this investment will encourage even greater environmental, economic, health, and recreational benefits for underserved Great Lakes communities, including those near severely degraded sites, known as “areas of concern.”
USEPA’s Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Program was made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which invests $1 billion in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to accelerate Great Lakes restoration and protection.
About the Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Program
USEPA has issued a request for applications for projects up to $30 million for the Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Program. This program will select “principal recipients” that will receive funding from USEPA to develop, implement, and oversee grant issuance and management programs focused on environmental restoration and protection projects for which Great Lakes underserved communities seek funding.
Qualifying non-profit organizations, institutions of higher learning such as colleges and universities, including minority-serving institutions, State agencies, interstate agencies, federally recognized Indian Tribes and Tribal organizations, and local governments are eligible to apply as principal recipients.
USEPA will consider applications from potential principal recipients interested in setting up Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Programs to fund environmental restoration and protection work on a Basin-wide basis or on a smaller, more localized basis. Projects funded through this program must improve the environmental health of the Great Lakes or Great Lakes watersheds through a variety of means, including:
- Restoring, enhancing, or protecting habitat
- Reducing non-point source runoff through, e.g., green infrastructure, riparian restoration, shoreline stabilization, or other stormwater/nutrient reduction practices that will improve water quality
- Connecting aquatic resources such as dam removals, culvert replacements, etc.
- Controlling or preventing invasive species
- Providing hands-on, place-based environmental educational opportunities in the Great Lakes Basin
USEPA intends to award the principal recipient(s) up to $20 million in funding to create a broad, basin-wide Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Program and up to $10 million in funding to create the more localized Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Programs.
Applications are being accepted through August 11, 2023. Learn more by visiting the following website: Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Program and the request for applications.