Great Lakes grants to help study ballast water, invasive species and more | www.WDIO.com

Great Lakes grants to help study ballast water, invasive species and more

Updated: September 08, 2020 10:36 PM

SUPERIOR, Wis. - Lake Superior is one of this region's greatest assets. Today, the EPA announced a $5 million investment into the Lake Superior Research Institute at UWS.

The plan for the money is to research the best methods for making sure the ships that navigate the Great Lakes aren't spreading invasive species through their ballast water. 

They also hope to possibly identify some solutions and even aceclerate the development of technology to mitigate the spread of invasives. 

"Hopefully we're going to be able to find some good research that will come out of this that we're going to be able to get solutions that keep those invasives out of our Great Lakes here, in particular, the greatest Lake, Lake Superior," Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.) said. 

The associate deputy administrator of the EPA said cleanup of the Great Lakes is a priority for President Trump. And he says the opportunity for college students to be involved is icing on the cake. 

"It's a big benefit to the program that we run, but it's also a big benefit to agencies like EPA and also Wisconsin DNR and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency because what you're doing is you're training the next generation of talent that can come in and do these environmental protection projects having had real, hands-on experience," Doug Benevento said. 

About $900,000 of a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant will also go to the City of Duluth to restore almost 530 acres near the St. Louis River. The Minnesota DNR will be granted about $100,000 to buy 38 acres of land that will allow them to protect some native plant communities. And the University of Minnesota was granted $3 million to collect and analyze Great Lakes sediment. 

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