EPA awards $309,300 to City of Erie to prevent pollution of Presque Isle and Lake Erie

Local News

CHICAGO — On Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded a $309,300 grant to the City of Erie to keep litter and trash out of Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie.

The EPA funding comes from the Trash-Free Waters Grant, which falls under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

“EPA is committed to protecting the Great Lakes and these projects will make a visible difference,” said acting EPA Regional Administrator Cheryl Newton. “Removing trash from the Great Lakes is just one of many ways we are working to restore this incredible natural resource.”

The city will use two types of collection devices to remove floating and submerged trash in Garrison Run, a heavily polluted tributary to Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie. A “crate litter trap” uses two boom arms to capture floating litter from the water’s edge. A partially submerged “litter boom” will trap and route trash to a concrete container on the stream bank.

The city estimates that the devices will stop up to 4,000 pounds of litter and trash from entering the bay and the lake each year.

“Lake Erie is our region’s greatest asset,” said Erie Mayor Joe Schember. “Keeping trash and other debris from entering the Lake helps present and future generations as well as local wildlife have cleaner water to thrive and grow.”

This project is part of the larger effort to restore and protect the Great Lakes through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The funded work supports the GLRI goal of protecting and restoring the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes basin. 

“Thank you to the EPA for working with me to preserve the beauty of Western Pennsylvania’s most valuable natural resource,” said U.S. Representative Mike Kelly. “This grant will help keep Lake Erie’s pristine water and shores clean, safe, and accessible for recreational and commercial use for generations to come.”

The GLRI was launched in 2010 as a non-regulatory program to accelerate efforts to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water in the world.

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