Toxin kills thousands of birds along Lake Michigan shoreline

Read the full story from Interlochen Public Radio.

Since 2006, Lake Michigan has seen a steady stream of dead birds washing up on its beaches, and this fall has been exceptionally grim.

Environmental policy center to convene Great Lakes mayors

Read the full story from the University of Illinois Chicago.

The Freshwater Lab, a University of Illinois at Chicago-based environmental research and policy center, has been awarded two grants to support its work examining social and human issues related to water, energy and natural resources in the Great Lakes region.

A $50,000 grant from the McDougal Family Foundation will enable the Freshwater Lab to host a Great Lakes mayoral summit in 2017, entitled “Untrouble the Waters: Leading the Future in the Great Lakes.”

In addition, a $200,000 grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation will also support the summit and allow the Freshwater Lab to continue its work with community partners on freshwater issues and create a curriculum on Great Lakes issues to be used across the region.

Funding opp: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative 2016 RFA

This Request for Applications (RFA) solicits applications from eligible entities for grants and/or cooperative agreements to be awarded pursuant to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan II (PDF) (30 pp, 5.1 MB, About PDF). This RFA is EPA’s major competitive grant funding opportunity under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for FY 2016 and FY 2017. It is one of several funding opportunities available through federal agencies under the GLRI. It is not anticipated that EPA will offer funding opportunities for these categories again in FY 2017.

Up to approximately $26 million may be awarded in total as grants and/or cooperative agreements under this RFA for approximately 56 projects in the seven categories listed below, contingent upon funding availability, the quality of applications received and other applicable considerations.

Applications are requested for projects within the seven categories listed below, each of which has a separate Funding Opportunity Number (FON) and is separately posted on Applicants must apply for the specific funding opportunity they are interested in.


Funding Opportunity Number appears in parentheses after each category.

  • Great Lakes Taxonomy and Barcodes to Support Early Detection Monitoring (EPA-R5-GL2016-TAG)
  • Invasive Species Control (EPA-R5-GL2016-ISC)
  • Foundations for Invasive Species Collaborations (EPA-R5-GL2016-FFC)
  • Phosphorus Risk Reduction Pilots in Western Lake Erie Agricultural Watersheds (EPA-R5-GL2016-PRR)
  • Agricultural Watershed Management Implementation (EPA-R5-GL2016-AWM)
  • Urban Watershed Management Implementation (EPA-R5-GL2016-UWM)
  • Agricultural Incentive Program Effectiveness (EPA-R5-GL2016-IPE)


Nonfederal governmental entities, including state agencies, interstate agencies, federally recognized Indian tribes and tribal organizations, local governments, institutions of higher learning (i.e., colleges and universities), and non-profit organizations as defined in 2 C.F.R. § 200 are eligible to apply for funding under this RFA.  Individuals, foreign organizations and governments, nonprofit organizations exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying, and “for-profit” organizations are not eligible.

Important Dates

These dates are subject to change.

  • Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, 1:00 p.m. Central /2:00 p.m. Eastern – A webinar will be held to discuss the RFA. See Section IV for further information.
  • Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 –Applications must be submitted to EPA through by 10:59 p.m. Central/11:59 p.m. Eastern. See Section IV for further submission information.
  • March 2017 (tentative) – EPA will begin notifying finalists.
  • May 2017 (tentative) – EPA will begin making official awards.

Contact Info

  • Great Lakes Taxonomy and Barcodes to Support Early Detection Monitoring (EPA-R5-GL2016-TAG): Jamie Schardt ( 312-353-5085
  • Invasive Species Control (EPA-R5-GL2016-ISC): Jamie Schardt ( 312-353-5085
  • Foundations for Invasive Species Collaborations (EPA-R5-GL2016-FFC): Jamie Schardt ( 312-353-5085
  • Phosphorus Risk Reduction Pilots in Western Lake Erie Agricultural Watersheds (EPA-R5-GL2016-PRR): Santina Wortman ( 312-353-8319
  • Agricultural Watershed Management Implementation (EPA-R5-GL2016-AWM): Paul Thomas ( 312-886-7742
  • Urban Watershed Management Implementation (EPA-R5-GL2016-UWM): Jacqueline Adams ( 312-353-7203
  • Agricultural Incentive Program Effectiveness (EPA-R5-GL2016-IPE): T. Kevin O’Donnell ( 312-886-0813

25 Companies, Organizations Honored for Sustainability Achievements in Illinois

Read the full story from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center.

Abbott Laboratories won an Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award for the 15th time on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at a ceremony at the Union League Club of Chicago. They were among 25 companies and organizations to be honored for their commitment to sustainable business and operations during the Awards’ 30th anniversary year.


Great Lakes experts push for restoration funding after election

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

November’s presidential election is a harbinger of big change for federal programs like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a multi-milliondollar program that addresses a multitude of Great Lakes problems.

Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, convened an expert panel recently to discuss the future of the program. The day-long conversation on Madeline Island, Wisconsin, resulted in 12 conclusions to inform policy under a new presidential administration and Congress.

Great Lakes shoreline communities get $2 million in water improvement grants

Read the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

New federal grants will support green infrastructure projects such as rain gardens in Great Lakes shoreline communities as part of efforts to improve water quality. The grants totaling $2,045,858 are also going to communities in Ohio, New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Indiana for other work, including bio-retention cells and wetlands protection.

CSI Great Lakes: Fish forensics trace contaminants from lakes to streams

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

Some trout in Great Lakes tributaries are just as contaminated with a chemical linked to respiratory, liver and skin ailments as the Pacific salmon that they eat, according to biologists from the University of Notre Dame.

They said the findings should help inform decisions on eating fish, dam removal and stocking.

Pacific salmon, such as Chinook and coho, are large sports fish that live most of their lives in the Great Lakes and then spawn and die in rivers and streams, according to scientists.

New research published in the journal, Environmental Science and Technology, looked for PCBs in their tissue during autumn spawning runs in tributaries of lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior. It compared that tissue with the tissue of native brook trout and mottled sculpin that live fulltime in the same rivers and eat the eggs and flesh of the salmon.