MODIS satellite image of Lake Erie showing harmful algal bloom. September 29, 2014. (NOAA Great Lakes CoastWatch)

Sustain Our Great Lakes partners on Monday awarded $6.6 million to 25 ecological restoration projects in the Great Lakes basin. In addition, grant winners will contribute $8.2 million for the projects.

Northeast Ohio received two awards:

Restoring Wetland Habitat in the West Basin of Mentor Marsh

  • Grantee: Cleveland Museum of Natural History
  • Award: $120,778 
  • Goal: Improve habitat complexity and resilience through native plant reseeding, invasive control and habitat creation in Mentor Marsh. Project will restore 42 acres of wetland habitat for priority shorebirds and waterfowl, improve hydrology to 50 acres of shallow emergent marsh, restore 10 shallow pools and install a fish shelf.

Reducing Stormwater Runoff and Improving Riparian Habitat in the Cuyahoga River Watershed

  • Grantee: Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • Award: $266,272 
  • Goal: Install green stormwater management systems to reduce erosion and stormwater runoff and improve habitat with invasive species management. Project will reduce stormwater runoff by 121,000 gallons annually and restore 29 acres of habitat

Grants will support projects in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ontario to sustain, restore and protect fish, wildlife and habitats, according to Sustain Our Great Lakes.”

“Sustain Our Great Lakes continues to be a leader in binational ecological restoration and water quality improvements within the Great Lakes region,” National Fish and Wildlife Foundation CEO Jeff Trandahl. “The 25 grants announced today supply critical funding for projects within each Great Lakes state and the province of Ontario to help preserve and protect the region’s globally unique habitats and natural resources.”

Sustain Our Great Lakes is a public-private partnership aiming to advance the objectives of the $300 million fedearl Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The partnership is overseen by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

According to Sustain Our Great Lakes, 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.