Conyers Hails $1 Million in Great Lakes Restoration Grant Funding for Green Infrastructure Projects

DETROIT – March 31, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that $1,000,000 in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Shoreline Cities grant funding would be provided to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department’s Near East Side Drainage District for two green infrastructure projects to ensure clean water in the region by preventing stormwater from contaminating the Great Lakes. In particular, a portion of the EPA grant would fund a program to convert vacant publicly owned lots in Detroit’s Lower Eastside into green space; the remainder of the EPA grant will be allocated towards the installation of green infrastructure at Detroit’s Recovery Park. Both of these green infrastructure projects will also serve to prevent flooding that can occur following harsh weather. After the grant recipients were made public, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued the following statement:

“I am delighted to announce that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department’s Near East Side Drainage District $1,000,000 in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Shoreline Cities grant funding for two green infrastructure projects. These two projects will prevent the Great Lakes from being contaminated by stormwater, and avert flooding after bad weather. Both projects will go a long way towards safeguarding our water and preparing the regional ecosystem for the effects of climate change,” said Conyers.

“Specifically, part of the EPA grant will transform Detroit’s Lower Eastside into green space, teeming with trees and other vegetation. Another portion of the grant will fund the installation of green infrastructure at Detroit’s Recovery Park. The combined impact of these projects will reduce the discharge of untreated stormwater into sewer system by 1,100,000 gallons during significant storms. Unfortunately, as extreme weather events occur with increasing frequency due to climate change, the green infrastructure projects’ handling of stormwater will only increase.

“With the potential to create ‘green collar’ jobs for metropolitan Detroit, the EPA’s Initiative Shorelines Cities grants could have a transformative effect on both the environment and the regional economy. ‘Green-collar’ jobs are not only a boon to the environment, but they are also well-paying and lasting. I applaud the EPA for their work in safeguarding the Great Lakes and the American countryside, as well as for helping guide the United States towards a sustainable clean economy.”

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