Milwaukee and Racine, Wis. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the award of $1 million and $250,000 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants to the cities of Milwaukee and Racine, Wis., respectively, to fund green infrastructure projects to improve water quality in Lake Michigan.

“The [cities] will use these EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Shoreline Cities Green Infrastructure grants to prevent stormwater from carrying contamination into Lake Michigan,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator/Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman. “These green infrastructure projects will also help protect against flooding during more frequent and intense storms which may occur as a result of climate change.”

Milwaukee will use the EPA grant, in combination with $2.1 million in City funding, to install porous pavement that will filter stormwater and reduce the amount of untreated runoff discharged to the Kinnickinnic, Menomonee, and Milwaukee Rivers that flow into the Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern and Lake Michigan.

Racine will use the EPA grant, in combination with funding from the City ($101,190) and the Fund for Lake Michigan ($167,100), to construct green infrastructure projects in two city parks on the shore of Lake Michigan. The City will install a series of bioswales and bioretention basins to capture and filter stormwater before it is discharged into the Lake.

Milwaukee and Racine are two of 16 cities to receive funding in the initial round of EPA’s new GLRI Shoreline Cities grant program. These grants can be used to fund up to 50 percent of the cost of green infrastructure projects on public property. The projects include rain gardens, bioswales, green roofs, porous pavement, greenways, constructed wetlands, stormwater tree trenches and other green infrastructure measures designed to improve water quality in the Great Lakes basin.

To find more information about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative or Shoreline Cities Green Infrastructure Grants, visit