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Michigan Great Lakes Protection Fund Grants




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 1998

Contact: John Truscott							517-335-6397


GOVERNOR ENGLER ANNOUNCES AWARD OF GREAT LAKES PROTECTION GRANTS 
Watersheds, Polluted Runoff and Persistent Toxics Targeted

	Lansing --  Governor John Engler announced today the award of 18 grants by the Michigan Great Lakes Protection Fund (Fund).  The grants total $1.1 million and will provide funding for projects and research in the areas of watershed management, polluted runoff (nonpoint source pollution), and the effects of persistent, bioaccumulative toxics, such as mercury and PCBs, on human health, fish and wildlife.

	*The Great Lakes are Michigan*s most valuable natural resources,* said Governor Engler.  *These awards by the Great Lakes Protection Fund emphasize pollution prevention, sound science, and relative risk in the protection and restoration of these priceless resources.  We are moving forward to meet the challenges of watershed management and polluted runoff, the biggest water quality challenge of all,* he said.

	The grants were approved for funding by Department of Environmental Quality Director Russell Harding upon the recommendation of the Great Lakes Protection Fund Technical Advisory Board, an independent panel of experts which reviews grant applications for the fund.

	This year*s awards provide over $463,000 for research on persistent, bioaccumulative toxics, primarily mercury and PCBs.  Grants for projects and research in the related areas of land, habitat and watershed management as well as nonpoint source pollution, or polluted runoff, amount to $492,000.

	*These funding priorities reflect the increasing significance of physical and biological issues, on a par with chemical concerns, in the Great Lakes ecosystem,* said G. Tracy Mehan, Director of the Office of the Great Lakes.  *In the area of chemical pollution, we see more emphasis on nonpoint source pollution and the transport of toxics by air.  These are dynamic areas of science and public policy,* Mehan said.

	The research funds are derived from revenue generated by interest earnings of the $120 million regional endowment, made possible by contributions from the Great Lakes states.

	The eighteen research projects funded by the Michigan Great Lakes Protection Fund are as follows:

Tellus Institute - $73,000.  Evaluate the potential of voluntary programs to drive pollution prevention in Michigan.

Michigan State University - $45,000.  Understand whether flexible, performance-based agro-environmental policies achieve water quality goals, and at what point swine farmers are willing to reorganize their production processes and adopt innovative and environmentally protective practices.

Tellus Institute - $72,000.  Examine linkages between land policy and ecosystem health by characterizing barriers that inhibit land conservation efforts and proposing alternative policy approaches.

Michigan State University - $115,000.  Quantify the effects of land use change on regional water quality in the Grand Traverse Bay Watershed.

Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Initiative (GTBWI) - $15,000.  Expand the partnership of the GTBWI to financial and insurance institutions by exploring market incentives for watershed protection.

Michigan State University - $55,000.  Explore the effects of methyl-mercury on the mechanical mechanisms that control growth of brain neurons that are believed to play a major role in the development of the brain.

Michigan State University - $85,000.  Correlate PCB-induced changes in testicular gene expression with compromised reproductive fitness.  This information will provide the basis for the development of biomarkers for the detection and evaluation of PCB exposure.

Michigan State University - $47,000.  Provide an assessment of how genetic diversity in lake trout populations has historically declined across the Great Lakes due to over-exploitation and sea lamprey predation.

Michigan State University - $108,000.  Investigate the relationship between human serum levels of PCB congeners and correlates of fertility to determine if consumption of Great Lakes fish poses a reproductive health risk to men and women.

The University of Michigan - $93,000.  Characterize the biological and biochemical effects of mercury and PCB compounds in combination with bacterial endotoxin exposure on fish immune function.

The University of Michigan - $52,000.  Examine the effects of PCBs on growth, development, and endocrine function in the northern leopard frog and determine the extent to which amphibian communities are affected by PCB contamination in wetlands.

Michigan Pulp and Paper Environmental Council - $70,000.  Reduce the use, source, and emissions of nonylphenol ethoxylates from the pulp and paper industry in Michigan.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - $21,000.  Develop and produce detailed bathymetric maps and related digital data products for Lakes Huron and Superior using sounding data from Canada and the United States.

The University of Michigan - $40,000.  Provide a more complete understanding of the physical, environmental and anthropogenic mechanisms that contribute to erosion of beaches, bluffs, and dunes along Michigan*s Great Lakes shorelines.

Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Initiative - $90,000.  Establish the *State of the Bay* for biological indicators by developing and providing quantitative habitat and water quality inventories of the nearshore waters of Grand Traverse Bay.

The Nature Conservancy - $40,000.  Develop a working description and understanding of the ecological processes and roles of Great Lakes marsh, its role in sustaining fish and bird populations on the shoreline, and the marsh*s role in the human community*s economic health.

Washtenaw County Drain Commission - $55,000.  Develop targets and a model ordinance of  impervious surfaces by subcreekshed and by land use category; evaluate and amend existing local ordinances and land use plans as necessary to facilitate reduction of impervious surface in new developments.

City of Battle Creek - $20,000.  Quantify and develop a plan to control nonpoint pollutant sources in tributaries to the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Rivers, which drain to Lake Michigan.