Detroit — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the award of two Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants totaling $1.25 million to fund green infrastructure projects in Southeast Michigan to improve water quality in the Great Lakes.

Detroit will use the $1 million grant for two green infrastructure projects in the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department’s Near East Side Drainage District. The first project will transform publicly owned vacant lots on Detroit’s Lower Eastside into green space consisting of meadows, trees and other vegetation. This will reduce the discharge of untreated stormwater into the city’s combined sewer system by approximately 100,000 gallons during significant storms. The second project involves installing green infrastructure at Detroit’s Recovery Park to reduce the discharge of untreated stormwater to the sewer system by approximately 1 million gallons during significant storms.

St. Clair Shores will use the $250,000 grant to install rain gardens and porous pavement at Kyte Monroe Park. The green infrastructure will capture and treat stormwater runoff which flows through the storm sewer directly to Lake St. Clair. This project will prevent approximately 95,000 gallons of polluted stormwater from entering Lake St. Clair during significant storms.

Detroit and St. Clair Shores are among 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. Green infrastructure projects use vegetation, soil and natural processes to hold and filter stormwater and melting snow to prevent flooding and to prevent contamination from reaching surface water and groundwater resources. The projects in the 16 cities 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