The Nature Conservancy received notice earlier this week that the nonprofit conservation organization will receive more than $1 million over the next three years in federal funding through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to help restore, protect and maintain the health of the Great Lakes.
The grant awards to the Conservancy will help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive plants in Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania, and reduce sediment and pollution going into Lake Erie from agricultural landscapes. Specifically, the funding will be distributed as follows:
“We will put this money to good use for people and nature in the Great Lakes,” said Jim Howe, executive director The Nature Conservancy’s Central/Western New York Chapter. “This funding is critical to the conservation success of protecting the health and viability of the Great Lakes. Without this funding, we would face severe challenges to control the spread of these threats to the Great Lakes.”
A report by Anderson Economic Group commissioned by The Nature Conservancy earlier this year said that aquatic invasive species such as Hydrilla and Phragmites can cost hundreds of millions of dollars annually in control and maintenance costs to industries and individuals. Likewise, sediment and run-off of phosphorus and nitrogen from farm fields into streams and rivers harms the Great Lakes, causing algal blooms in Lake Erie that severely threaten the health and quality of the world’s largest freshwater system.
“Support like this from the federal government comes at a crucial time,” Howe said. “This gives us the boost we need to make changes now, before it’s too late.”
The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to protect the most ecologically important lands and waters around the world for nature and people. Working with partners, The Nature Conservancy is helping to make the Great Lakes watershed among the most effectively managed ecosystems on Earth. For more information, visit the Conservancy's Great Lakes website.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.