The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $1.3 million for two Toledo-area projects designed to put 58 unemployed people to work on Lake Erie restoration projects; $1 million more in Great Lakes funding will go toward controlling invasive plants in Lorain County.
More than $811,000 will be used to restore habitat in the Maumee River Area of Concern, which covers much of Lucas County, by removing debris and planting vegetation to prevent erosion. That project is expected to create 28 jobs.
And $480,000 more will go to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for conservation, restoration, and outreach at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. About 30 people are expected to be hired. Lorain County’s Black River project is expected to create 22 jobs.
Susan Hedman, EPA Great Lakes National Program Manager, announced the funding plans Monday at Wildwood Preserve Metropark. The projects were proposed in response to a $6 million challenge the EPA issued in August encouraging federal agencies to hire unemployed workers for restoration efforts. To qualify for funding, each project must provide jobs for at least 20 unemployed people.