Forest Service Supports Great Lakes Restoration with $5.5M in Grants

Release Date: Oct 13, 2021

Contact(s): Franklin Pemberton, Lindsey Lewis

Milwaukee, WI (October 13, 2021) – The USDA Forest Service is pleased to award over $5.5 million in grants to support 47 Great Lakes restoration projects in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin.

The projects are funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) under an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Great Lakes form the world’s largest surface freshwater system and are the source of drinking water for more than 30 million people while providing many other health, ecological and economic benefits. Launched in 2010, the GLRI strategically targets the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem and accelerates progress toward long-term restoration goals.

As a result of this collaborative effort of the Forest Service and EPA, over 675,000 trees have been planted on nonfederal lands since 2010, preventing over 38 million gallons of stormwater runoff per year.

Some of the expected outcomes of this year’s projects include: 

  • Planting 118,000 trees
  • Mitigating forest insect and disease impacts with 1,200 acres of reforestation and protective treatments
  • Supporting local partnerships to treat 1,800 acres for non-native invasive plants and survey 50,000 acres for new infestations
  • Supporting climate change resilience on over 1,500 acres of coastal, riparian and shoreline habitats
  • Intercepting approximately 9 million gallons of stormwater annually through eight green infrastructure projects

“These forest restoration grants in rural and urban areas are an investment in clean water and climate resilience,” said Bob Lueckel, USDA Forest Service Deputy Regional Forester. “By supporting projects that engage youth, historically underrepresented groups and sovereign tribal nations in restoration, they are also an investment in the people and communities that rely on clean water.”

To learn more about GLRI grant recipients in your area and the Forest Service’s GLRI program, visit the Forest Service Eastern Region grant website.


Funded Projects

This year’s funded organizations, project descriptions and federal funding amounts are listed below. Each grant recipient provides at least 20% match for this funding, in collaboration with state or local partners, donors or volunteers.


  • Openlands, $125,985: Openlands TreePlanters Program V       
  • The Morton Arboretum, $194,762: Increasing Canopy and Capacity in Priority Communities after the Emerald Ash Borer
  • The Nature Conservancy, $52,774: Trees and Training for a Healthier South Side
  • Friends of the Forest Preserves, $200,000: Building Resilience through Restoration at Jurgensen Woods



  • Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, $120,000: CommuniTree: Community Tree Pass-Through Grant Program



  • The Greening of Detroit, $199,930: Emerald Ash Borer Mitigation and Urban Canopy Restoration in Detroit
  • City of St. Clair Shores, $100,000: 2021 Urban Tree Canopy Restoration in St. Clair Shores Michigan
  • Wildlife Habitat Council, $275,634: Building Resilience with Green Corridors in Neighborhoods and Alleyways in Detroit
  • City of Detroit, $300,000: Minock Park Greening Project
  • Superior Watershed Partnership, $216,395: Northern Tribal and Community Green Infrastructure Collaborative
  • Chippewa Luce Mackinac Conservation District, $122,828: Munuscong River Watershed Green Infrastructure and Tree/Shrub Management Project
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources, $199,035: GLRI More Trees for School Forests
  • Grand Traverse Conservation District, $50,558: Bottomlands Reforestation Post Dam Removal —  Boardman River Phase-II
  • Antrim County, $200,000: Restoring Northern Lake Michigan's Resilient Coastal and Riparian Habitats
  • Mason-Lake Conservation District, North Country Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA), $50,000: Prioritizing Control of Invasives to Preserve and Restore Vulnerable Species and Habitats
  • Huron Pines Resource Conservation and Development Council (RCDC), Huron Coastal Invasive Species Network (HC ISN), $50,000: HC ISN — Huron Coastal Mitigation and Evaluation of Inland Recreation Impacts
  • Huron Pines RCDC, Huron Heartland Invasive Species Network, $50,000: Huron Heartland Pathways Assessment, Phase Two
  • Michigan Technological University, Keweenaw Invasive Species Management Area (KISMA), $50,000: Continuing KISMA Priority Invasive Species Control and Outreach with Partners and Community
  • Arenac Conservation District, Saginaw Bay CISMA, $50,000: Invasive Species Strike Team in Saginaw Bay
  • Dickinson Conservation District, Wild Rivers Invasive Species Coalition (ISC), $49,994: Wild Rivers ISC: Protecting Natural Habitats through Establishment of Invasive Species Buffer Zones
  • Antrim Conservation District, CAKE (Charlevoix, Antrim, Kalkaska and Emmet) CISMA, $50,000: Expanding CAKE CISMA
  • Chippewa Luce Mackinac Conservation District, Three Shores CISMA, $49,553: Protecting the Borders of the Hiawatha National Forest from Non-native Invasive Plants
  • Six Rivers Regional Land Conservancy, Lake St. Clair CISMA, $50,000: Restoring Resiliency at Red Run Drain in Macomb County, Michigan
  • Upper Peninsula RCDC, Lake to Lake CISMA & Three Shores CISMA, $50,000: Managing Non-native Phragmites across the Hiawatha National Forest
  • Jackson County Conservation District, Jackson Lenawee Washtenaw (JLW) CISMA, $17,584: Tree of Heaven Survey and Management Efforts at Hidden Lake Gardens and within JLW CISMA Priority Areas



  • Minnesota Land Trust, $200,000: Planting for Habitat Resiliency in Ash-dominated Coastal Forest
  • South St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District, $115,000: Miller Creek: Restoration of a Ditched Trout Stream
  • The Stewardship Network, Duluth CISMA / Carlton County CWMA, $50,000: Duluth CISMA and Carlton County CWMA — Teaming Up to Combat Terrestrial Invasive Species


New York

  • Owasco Watershed Lake Association, $138,750: Owasco Lake Watershed 2022-2023 Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Suppression
  • Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District, $80,000: Mitigating the Impacts of Emerald Ash Borer in Onondaga County
  • Niagara County Soil and Water Conservation District, $110,000: Niagara County Tree Planting for Emerald Ash Borer Damage
  • Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District, $50,000: Managing Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in Ontario County
  • Onondaga Environmental Institute, $137,323: Reducing Runoff in a Polluted Urban Watershed Using Green Infrastructure
  • The Research Foundation for The State University of New York, $299,999: Urban Food Forest for Green Infrastructure: Infiltrating Water and Restoring Neighborhoods
  • Wyoming County SWCD, Western New York Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management, $25,740: Invasive Japanese Knotweed Management on East Koy/Wiscoy Creek



  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources, $300,000: Lake Erie Green Infrastructure Grant Program



  • Ozaukee County, $200,000: Native Tree Planting in the Ozaukee County Coastal Parks Project Area
  • Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, $198,000: Mitigating the Impact of Emerald Ash Borer within Lake Michigan Coastal Counties — Phase 3
  • Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, $200,000: Lake Michigan Coastal and Riparian Restoration Project — Phase 3
  • Woodland Dunes Nature Center and Preserve, $184,890: Woodland Dunes Coastal Forest Restoration
  • The Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, $97,192: Restoring Coastal Forest Habitat at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve
  • County of Door, Door County Invasive Species Team (DCIST), $50,000: Door County Invasive Species Team: Priority Invasive Species Control in Door County
  • Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, $50,000: Promoting Ecological Resiliency in the Lake Michigan Watershed
  • County of Bayfield, Northwoods Cooperative Weed Management Area, $45,000: Invasive Species Management within the Lake Superior Basin of Wisconsin
  • Lumberjack Resource Conservation & Development Council (RCDC), Timberland Invasives Partnership (TIP), $49,517: Continued Watershed Protection by TIP through Invasive Species Management
  • Lumberjack RCDC, Wisconsin Headwaters Invasives Partnership, $32,222: Preventing the Spread of Invasive Species at Public Access Points in the Wisconsin Headwaters of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior
  • Glacierland RCDC, Lakeshore Invasive Species Management Area (LISMA), $50,000: LISMA Collaborative invasive Species Mapping and Control



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