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Feedback from Public Engagement Sessions

The following table lists ideas and feedback received from in-person public engagement sessions that took place in the summer of 2023, as well as input received by email through August 31, 2023. The GLRI’s partners are considering these ideas as a new action plan is developed. While we cannot respond to every suggestion, we will provide responses to the categories of feedback received this Fall or Winter.

The next opportunity for public input will be early in 2024 when a draft action plan is posted for public comment. Updates will be posted on the Development of GLRI Action Plan webpage.

Location Feedback
Milwaukee Focus on projects with multiple community benefits; maintain strong connections with community leaders, including establishing regular touch points on community consultation.
Milwaukee What’s being done in regards to Line 5? People are being arrested protecting their water come September. Use your money to bail them out. Support the tribes.
Milwaukee Please expand Areas of Concern to upper portions of Kinnickinnic River and creeks which feed into the Kinnickinnic River. We need more funding for concrete removal.
Milwaukee Prioritize removal of concrete lining along Kinnickinnic River and its tributaries. Every year floodwaters consume the lives of local residents who are mostly minority groups and immigrants.
Milwaukee Equity is at the center of success for all communities.
Milwaukee I think it is very important to balance ecological and environmental justice impacts. Urban greenspaces that are highly impacted and, by some metrics, not as ecologically important are important because of proximity to people! How to balance these?
Milwaukee I really appreciate the work being done with GLRI and would urge you to keep Native population and Indigenous communities at the forefront due to the unequal impacts they face.
Milwaukee The increased diversity of the Milwaukee AOC Citizen Advisory Committee membership is built in part on paying people to be members. Through Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. It might be worth exploring the feasibility of this in other Areas of Concern.
Milwaukee Stop Line 5. The stakes are too high to let fossil fuels flow through the Great Lakes. Tell Biden and Congress to revoke the U.S.-Canada 1977 treaty allowing for unobstructed transit of crude oil and gas between the two countries.
Milwaukee To help us understand the GLRI, write the plan in terms of - Can I eat the fish? Can I swim at the beach? Can I live here without getting flooded out? Can I drink the water?
Milwaukee Get rid of the piles of salt stored by the waterways.
Milwaukee What’s being done about the residue of concrete production in the rivers?
Milwaukee When does a non-native species become naturalized?
Milwaukee Green spaces in the city may have non-natives (some purposeful) but are still important to urban populations for access to nature.
Milwaukee How can Action Plan IV incorporate best practices for involving and responding to pressure from community groups? Don’t leave this to the states, it gets too political.
Milwaukee GLRI restoration work who are those jobs going to? Feds need to point the money in the right direction to turn equity concepts into action. Values do not equal implementation.
Milwaukee EPA's EJ definition is lame. EJ is local, place-based, so differs across the basin and is not generic.
Milwaukee How does the Milwaukee contractor work reflect the racial makeup of Milwaukee (a minority majority city)?
Milwaukee Providing access to urban youth is a public health issue and should include public health officials, groups. There’s another side of providing access during COVID, children were at the beaches more often but had never heard about riptides, and some were swept away. Access needs to be accompanied by information.
Milwaukee In Milwaukee, there are two sides of the river, the rich or gentrified side, and the poor side. Restoration work needs to plan for the consequences of accidental gentrification that can result. How can the economic benefits be shared by all communities? Need to build community engagement before something is restored so these issues can be thought through.
Milwaukee Are you labeling communities with EJ?
Milwaukee Will money provided to underserved communities be a measure of success?
Milwaukee How do you remove phragmites?
Milwaukee What is the Forest Service doing for climate change and environmental justice? How will those priorities be included in the next Action Plan?
Milwaukee How directly are Tribes involved in invasive species work?
Milwaukee Don't reignite the Cuyahoga River.
Milwaukee Concerned about fertilizer runoff needs attention!
Milwaukee Need oversight of boats from St. Lawrence Seaway regarding invasives. Also enforcement and inspection to eliminate possibility of future contamination.
Milwaukee Concerned about boats in the lakes and fuel. Also ballast water and invasive species what controls in place?
Rochester Blue-green algae issues catch basin.
Rochester Work with farmers to reduce nutrient and sediment runoff into the GL. Work with municipalities to help them reduce contaminated floodwater using rain gardens.
Rochester Would love to see more GI projects and monitoring in Monroe County and the Genesee River basin.
Rochester Areas of Concern Provide opportunities for community members impacted by the AOCs to do remediation and implement beneficial use projects with job opportunities and workforce development, particularly in underserved areas. Utilize traditional ecological knowledge in cleanup plans, future restorations/education. Explicitly focus on climate and equity issues habitat. Focus on restoration in underserved communities, focus on climate resolutely. Invest in nature-based coastal resilience tools.
Rochester Diverse PACs that represent community makeup and focus on most-impacted folks. Tribal partnership structure. Stipends for EJ and other community leaders participation funding for apprenticeships to engage young people.
Rochester Microplastics how to eliminate from water.
Rochester We're facing future flooding due to climate change.
Rochester More water temperature monitoring to understand the impacts to fish communities.
Rochester interested in stream connectivity and climate resilience.
Rochester We want to see the prioritization of projects in environmental justice communities where they are able to decide the content and direction of the project, local solutions driven by (but not compromising the capacity of) grassroots communities. They will require support to apply for and administrator GLRI grants. EJ should be a focus area or treated as on objective for all other focus areas.
Rochester Are there listening sessions for communities in AOC or past AOC? Have they been identified by a disadvantaged communities indicators map? Small community organizations cannot relieve large grants they do not have the capacity to manage. Need to ensure that allocations are going to BIPOC lead organizations in communities to keep funds within disadvantaged communities.
Rochester Lesser celandine has invaded Oatka Creek Watershed. How do you get rid of that?
Rochester Are the current regulations for ballast water taking into consideration terrorist and toxic water?
Rochester Neonicotinoids in streams impact fish.
Rochester Students need subjects geared toward conservation in agriculture: hydrology, soils, plant science, GIS drones. Get into the schools, colleges.
Rochester Microplastics.
Rochester How pervasive is the original seed bank after invasives are removed? How are habitats restored if no baseline of what was there exists?
Rochester Do regular infrastructure work and improvements intersect with stormwater/green infrastructure work?
Rochester Concerns about increased flooding and wondering if EPA can take action to mitigate flooding.
Rochester DOT should modify mowing practices to prevent roadside invasions. Suggest a demonstration or pilot project comparing unmowed areas with mowed areas.
Rochester Concerned about water milfoil invasion in Sodus Bay and requests that the species be managed.
Rochester Concerned about expansive property development near Lake Ontario due to an influx of workers for new industrial development in Syracuse, NY. Also concerned about land development for new renewable energy developments enabled by state policy changes.
Rochester Would like to know more about how local community groups are being involved in AOC work. Requests that community members be further engaged in local work.
Rochester Concerned about flooding, climate change and environmental justice.
Rochester Concerned about neonicotinoid (pesticide) runoff.
Rochester Requested information about monitoring and reporting industrial waste/runoff.
Rochester Requested that local advisory groups in Areas of Concern prioritize engaging everyone within their Areas of Concern.
Rochester Asked how hands-on the administration/management is with AOC projects. Asked what barriers exist to community engagement and increasing the diversity of local advisory groups.
Rochester Concerned about ballast water and supports a ballast water research and development plan.
Rochester Concerns about ballast water.
Rochester Are there professional landscaping businesses that specialize in native planting and pollinator plants? These exist in Michigan and North Carolina.
Rochester Birds & Bees Act in New York is important.
Rochester The improvements at the AOC are amazing. So many new birds species and such an improvement in the water quality
Rochester Engaging municipalities in culvert right sizing, dam removal and restoration mussel habitat restoration.
Rochester Interested in collaborating on assessment and outreach regarding coastal erosion and the nearshore of Lake Ontario and desire more good examples of coastal resilience for outreach.
Rochester Where to report potential violations of environmental laws and regulations?
Rochester Any research on how cyanobacteria may interact with microplastics in the Great Lakes?
Rochester Expressed interest in Bay Watershed Education and Training projects and workforce development efforts. Organization is having difficulty finding qualified staff.
Rochester Where to get funds for educational opportunities to engage more students?
Rochester What opportunities exist for kids to get out in the field and participate in restoration work?
Rochester Interested in key projects and highlights of GLRI and AOC work. How to chronicle success stories that are easily digestible (X effort led to Y outcome in the environment).
Rochester Interested in how birds are affected by changes in the Great Lakes region and promoting the use of native plants and no pesticides in yards. Also interested in funding opportunities for the development of written educational materials.
Rochester Any future efforts planned for archeological/wreck/cultural heritage protection?
Rochester As the wastewater operator for Monroe County, NY, I see the end of line of its waste stream firsthand. Microplastics are going out to Lake Ontario and are not treated for. I would like to see efforts toward better treatment of wastewater contaminants, including chemicals that aren't being treated for and plastic waste.
Rochester We need to educate every K-12 student at least every other year on basic watershed principles, pollution, fisheries climate resiliency, etc.
Rochester We need to do a better job with hands-on education as well as informing people about the poor quality of the fish they eat.
Rochester Over the years I have watched a variety of invasive plant species benefit from roadside maintenance practices. Good plants and bad plants are mowed indiscriminately following a time schedule arbitrarily set by DOTs. Unfortunately when native plants are cut down, invasives often quickly fill available space. It would be wonderful if a pilot program investigated a variety of roadside maintenance practices that were tailormade to fit specific situations. The new ways of doing things could avoid cutting at least some native plants and focus on targeting the invasives. Maybe they could even be cut down more often than by the old schedule. Anyway, it’s time to move forward and move away from doing things the way they have always been done.
Rochester Curious about weed mats for residents. To control weeds would be more economical/less fuel used/more conservation friendly than harvesters. Perhaps grants for weed mats, reduce harvesters.
Rochester Where are the people of color? Rochester is diverse. How can we engage the entire population better in conversations like this?
Rochester Work with county extension agents.
Rochester Acid rain New York.
Rochester Better methods to detach and control invasive species more funding, research.
Rochester Climate adaptation issues include drinking water quality, particularly the likelihood of toxic algae blooms at a time when climate refugees will likely be moving to areas served by Great Lakes water supplies. Control of nutrients from stormwater runoff will be crucial. Also, as we are losing important habitats and more, protection of wildlife habitat. Education about stormwater is also important. It carries nutrients that people don’t realize they are contributing to.
Rochester Having worked on the Rochester AOC, I think we need to educate the public about the amount of fish they can eat. Make them more aware about what chemicals and plastics are doing to the water. Make people more aware of what an AOC is. If we clean up an AOC, it will increase the price of the nearby houses by 10%.
Rochester Expanding efforts on emerging contaminants PFAS< PBDES, microplastics.
Rochester How can the GLRI partner with other federal agencies to address emerging contaminants in the Great Lakes basin. The DOD creating contamination concerns comes to mind.
Rochester In working with grassroots organizations at and near AOCs, we have seen AOC waterbodies cleaned up and move toward delisting (ex.: Muskegon Lake). Private developers have began to site businesses along the lakeshore. That limits public access. While we understand and share EPA’s drive for better economic development in these areas, we are creating and fueling the conditions for less local access to our Great Lakes waters. We would like to see increased public access as a measurement of success for the GLRI AOCs.
Rochester Thankful for so much progress made: swimming in Lake Erie as a child wasn’t always pleasant. Worked @ DEC and hope time/staff made some difference, especially w/ respect to Buffalo River and waterfront. Still concerned now w/ contaminated sediments in Genesee River, especially downriver of former Kodak and into outlet of Lake Ontario.
Rochester More structured, intentional community engagement and relationship building. Intentional collaboration with sovereign tribal governments include land-back management tactic and TEK.
Rochester You need to complete a needs assessment of EJ and disadvantaged communities to have their goals reflected in GLRI priorities.
Rochester Environmental justice remove match requirements, reduce barriers to enable smaller underserved communities to directly apply for funds rather than have money flow through another buyer of predominantly white-led organizations.
Rochester Intentional community engagement needed to reach underserved communities and make sure their input is included in the plan. Privatization of Lake Ontario waterfront is also an issue when it comes to access of water.
Rochester Involve high school kids in data collection to help build interest from those in underprivileged communities to having a career in science.
Rochester Connect community well-being with environmental well-being. Job training and youth engagement in environmental projects. Build relationships and trust with community-based organizations. Meet people where they are to build a shared understanding.
Rochester Controlling or limiting more and new invasive species, plastic microbeads, stopping bighead and silver carp from reclaiming the GL. Consider the Erie Canal as a superhighway to invasive entry to the Finger Lakes and other NY inland lakes.
Rochester Help (technical, financial, any) in addressing runoff, nutrient inputs to Oneida Lake and, in turn, Lake Ontario.
Rochester What’s getting delivered to the lakes? More tributary work!
Superior Control of emergent invasive species such as phragmites and hybrid/narrowleaf cattail is extremely important for maintaining and restoring wildlife habitat. Marsh birds have shown a positive response to invasive species control at multiple Audubon Great Lakes restoration sites. Supporting invasive species control geared to wetland focal species, using them as an indicator, is critical aspect of GLRI.
Superior Resilient habitats can be indicated by certain wildlife species such as focal marsh bird species like the black tern and least bittern. For wetland restoration involving emergent marsh and hemi-marsh, these species have been shown to indicate success. Audubon is working with partners on a restoration project in Allouez Bay which uses focal marsh bird species as indicators of success. Audubon, with partners, to identify additional areas in the St. Louis River Estuary to address with large-scale restoration, such as possibly the Nemadji River corridor. GLRI is critical funding for these impactful projects and we encourage EPA to continue to prioritize wetland restoration using marsh birds as indicators and long-term monitoring with adaptive restoration using monitoring data.
Superior We need to be proactive!!! No mines, no pipelines especially impacting Indigenous Nations. We need fish that are safe to eat and the end of subservience to Big Oil. All pipelines leak.
Superior The stormwater runoff and agricultural runoff section of the upcoming GLRI Action Plan IV will hopefully include focus on the Nemadji River Watershed specifically the Red Clay Zone in the Minnesota Portion, which is the headwaters. This Red Clay Zone is very prone to erosion and contributes significant amounts of nutrient-rich sediments to Lake Superior. This area contains many red clay dams that are at risk of failure, leading to a very high one-time release of sediment. This watershed and the Carlton Soil and Water Conservation District are very interested in streambank stabilization projects and wetland restoration to reduce sediment entering Lake Superior, which is contributing to South Shore harmful algal blooms. Hopefully headwater areas can be considered in the next Action Plan.
Superior The lack of funding for monitoring for Lake Superior makes it impossible to determine a baseline to measure change against.

The appearance of harmful algal blooms in Lake Superior needs significant attention, including better documentation of events. Hypoxia medicated P loading from sediments in the St. Louis River AOC has not been investigated and may be contributing to harmful algal blooms.

Nutrient-loading monitoring has been overlooked as unimportant in Superior, but there is evidence that nearshore eutrophication is occurring.

Superior Lake Superior condition is typically rated as good or unchanging but nearshore areas are expediting significant charge and that is where the people are interacting with the water.

Long-term/sustained stream gauging is needed to estimate nutrient loading in Lake Superior. If academics are expected/able to contribute to science and management, there needs to be a pipeline for GLRI funds to those institutions. This is an example of supporting partnerships.

Superior I recently read an article about PFAS contamination. I guess it is pretty much everywhere now. I had hoped that this wasn’t a serious problem in the Great Lakes. I am a sport fisherman and eat the fish I catch, both in Superior and Michigan. I am hoping the future will bring technology to allow cleanup some day.
Superior Aside from being a nature lover, I am also a sport fisherman. I eat the fish I catch both Superior and Michigan. I am trying to follow the latest news, especially on the lamprey and invasive carp. I know some work is being done to minimize this and hope more can be done sooner than later! Good luck!
Superior I am all for these efforts to provide cleanup and protection. I feel especially that we must minimize and eventually eliminate (industrial and agricultural) dumping and runoff. We only have one planet! I speak from a nature lover's and sport fishing perspective.
Superior Love what you’re doing for education! Keep up the good work and reach out more if you can. It is so important, especially to the un/undereducated!
Superior Make the Quality Assurance Project Plan processes as easy as possible.
Superior Please see the docs packet I submitted on Ecojustice & Climate.
Superior Restoration & revitalization that Is meaningful for the people who live next door. A few ways to do this:
+ Support boundary-spanning organizations
+ Provide institutional support for Indigenous stewardship approaches
+ Invest in the evidence base of quantitative and qualitative human and environmental well-being metrics and indictors
It is essential to build authentic community input into each focus area of the plan, not through *points* of input but from before a project is identified through design & monitoring. There needs to be funding timelines that support meaningful partnership buildings across scales (Tribal Nations, local governments, counties and local communities and orgs) to create.
Superior I urge federal agencies involved with the GLRI to deny permits for new construction on the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline. Please support an immediate and permanent shutdown of Line 5. Oil disasters in the Great Lakes would permanently impair water quality, habitat and human health.
Superior I grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee and deeply love the Great Lakes! I urge the Biden administration and Army Corps to deny permits for the Line 5 pipeline and immediately and permanently shut down Line 5. I urge the EPA to protect the Kakagon & Bad River sloughs and use its power to block the proposed Line 5 reroute. Construction alone would be devastating. Shut down Line 5.
Superior Natural channel design is currently popular. It is not creating resilience it is by design climate resistance. This method sacrifices ecological integrity of riparian areas for stormwater storage. Stream restoration should always be preceded by measurable efforts to restore watershed hydrology and sustainable flows.
Superior I hope that a lot of restored decontaminated or new-built green infrastructure includes public access to waterfront and pedestrian, wheeled/bike/roll and public transportation. I live in Superior and there are nice paved trails near the Pickle Pond AOC site. But the pedestrian crossings near the site are not safe and public bus stops are not nearby. Hopefully transportation equity can be included (via partners or projects?) in projects. And access to waterfront in restored sites like the neighbors near the U.S. Steel site want.
Superior Environmental justice make sure you are working with Indigenous folk, supporting federally recognized Tribes. Support Indigenous people, not just indigenous species!

Pay attention to aquifer breaches that happen in Line 3 in Minnesota ongoing damage!

Superior It is concerning that Stop Line 5 was called out as not being appropriate to state as an issue. If Line 5 would breach, our Great Lakes are damaged. Cant we learn from Line 3’s many (28?) breaches and NOT support pipelines?
Superior What are we hearing now as Line 5 continues to operate illegally in spite of court-ordered removal from the Straits of Mackinac? Out at the Bad River Sloughs, court finds Enbridge is trespassing; in other places they are operating across expired leases. Why must we always be attending hearings through decades to get this Canadian company to leave our watershed? In Wisconsin in 2017 they were given permission to not have to prove they are insured. There have been over 100 spills already. Why must we continue to allow this company to transport oil across the Great Lakes? The line is an export line. We assume all the risk. Get rid of all the fossil fuel and extractive industries as climate crisis is upon us. Where we, our medicines exists, we can and will be sustained. Sustenance is possible without extracting resources of land and water.
Superior These lakes are a gift of fresh water. There is nothing more important in a time of climate change than protecting this precious resource.
Superior I would LOVE to see more public waterfront access in Superior. For a city so surrounded by water, so much of the waterfront is devoted to industry and wealthy homeowners. With any restoration project I would like to see accessibility as a priority. And accessibility to a wide range of people.
Superior Call them non-locals.
Superior How can environmental justice be woven into each focus area instead of as a separate one? How can public input sessions not privilege written work or fast speaking? How is GLRI defining measurements/evaluation for environmental justice, and is it in a culturally responsive way where people/participants define/describe themselves?
Superior Lakewide Action and Management Plans are how states and lake partners identify priorities. If you want to know priorities for lakes, engage the partnerships. The Lakewide Action and Management Plans are critical partnership documents. They need to reflect partnerships strategic direction.
Superior Strongly suggest more $ re: prevention like GLRI I & II. There is a HUGE gap in regional outreach collaboration which is undermining progress, investment and successes in behavior change among recreation amenities.

Also more $ targeting OIT and business aimed at preventing release and escape from water gardens, aquariums, live sea food, bait buckets.

Greater emphasis on $ Tribal/state relationships re: AIS outreach prevention.

Superior More funding through subcontracting to local governments to support existing and new local AIS programs.
Superior I live on Billy Creek, a Class I brook trout stream, in the Marengo River Watershed of the Bad River Watershed. Thank you for all your support of the work on our Marengo River project!
Superior Even though GLRI is not a regulatory or decisional body, it's connected to the EPA and is federal money. Therefore, in such a position of power and influence and striving toward environmental justice, the Great Lakes EPA office can and should support the Bad River Band in their Tribal sovereignty and treaty rights. The Band knows what caretaking for water on and off Reservation means and as a sovereign nation that knowledge must be respected and upheld.

This EPA project office can support the Band with funds, can be selective of GLRI project partnerships based on if they work with Enbridge or not, and can ask Band leadership how to support. Like Nancy Schuldt said, environmental justice is upholding tribal standards and in her case it was through work and positions funded through GLRI.

Superior Are education efforts in Focus Area 5 related to GLRI projects in science or other focus areas? Or does it need to be? My questions could maybe address how to communicate about education funding opportunities.
Superior Need to find a way to include university research in Focus Area 5 science. Also in Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative.
Superior Education should be integrated at the start and during projects, not just at the end. And funded/acknowledge workload/capacity of educators!
Superior Education is a valuable imperative part of GLRI. Thank you for funding the Great Lakes Bay Watershed Education and Training program (B-WET)! The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve with B-WET support has been able to build a capacity-building, yearlong relationship-based professional development opportunity for teachers to build confidence and skills in outdoor teaching and using local examples in their teaching, including GLRI-funded researchers and showcasing partnership on the St. Louis River.

A major focus of the program is on the leadership of tribes in work on climate change, community connecting and learning.

Superior #landback Get Indigenous lands back in Indigenous hands. Indigenous communities have been at the forefront of the climate justice movements, protecting the health of our planet and in turn protecting all of us. Listen to Indigenous voices, uplift their efforts and movements.

The Great Lakes won't have a future if we do not protect the water and the land and ecosystems. (This is preventable; we can still have a future, and so this is why we fight.) Extractive infrastructure, settler colonialism, capitalism these all play a part in the abuse of our nature and environment. We can't eat money. We can't drink oil.

Superior Consider Minnesota's model for AIS prevention and outreach. We are seeing significant behavior change as a result of our efforts.
Superior Green infrastructure higher up in the watershed is important and often overlooked; it has an influence downstream and in the nearshore.
Superior More than just being concerned with runoff, emphasize regenerative agriculture practices that store nutrients and carbon (such as using hemp to restore soil).
Superior Opportunities to get support for green infrastructure?
Superior Consider the end use of harvested invasive species, including consumption and traditional foods.
Superior Getting an approved Quality Assurance Project Plan is difficult; grantees should be able to reuse previous QAPPs.
Superior The integrity of Line 5 pipeline won't last very long, increasing the risks for environmental damage each year. Heavy equipment for Line 5 has to go onto Tribal land, damaging Tribal resources.
Superior Where does the dredge material from sediment sites actually go? Not to where is should. Who is monitoring the removal, transport and disposal?
Superior The plants used for restoration projects need to be from locally sustainable sources of native plants. This needs to be monitored as some plants used in restoration efforts are not local.
Superior Some subcontractors for GLRI restoration projects have been using pre-emergent herbicide not meant to be used in wet situations. Who is monitoring what is used when and where? Action Plan needs to pay close attention to this as the work is underway and not just leave it to the subcontractors. Decisions about herbicide use need more scrutiny and oversight. Such decisions shouldn't be left to subcontractors.
Superior Planning for GLRI projects should not use a command and control approach, but should be conducted bottom up so decision-making includes input from the public or those to benefit from the project.
Superior Expand education efforts to more schools, grades and states.
Superior The various funding opportunities need to be made more clear which states, fed agencies are offering what funding opportunities to whom and when? One-stop shop needed to see all funding opportunities across the board, both competitive and noncompetitive, so potential applicants know all the places they can turn to for possible project funding.
Superior Education should be treated as a cross-cutting issue across all focus areas, like EJ or climate change.
Superior Wisconsin and Minnesota fish advisory phone number listed on public signage is disconnected and has been for years.
Superior What are PFAS impacts on trout and trout streams?
Superior Piles at industrial sites by the water in Superior and Duluth should be covered. The wind blows sediment off of the piles into yards and gardens throughout the area.
Superior Enbridge is endangering the aquifers.
Superior Support training for teachers and educators on Great Lakes issues and stewardship.
Superior Environmental justice communities are intimidated by fed agencies. How are you bridging the gap?
Superior You can't drink oil.
Superior Please fund long-term monitoring of restoration and remediation sites after AOC delisting to ensure they have truly recovered and are sustainable.
Superior Boost sustainability/environmental education in schools/youth.
Superior Over a million gallons spilled. #spotline5
Superior You cant eat money.
Superior Shut down Line 5.
Superior Solving things within Focus Areas can be difficult. Marina restoration, for example, looks at habitat and pollution.
Superior Elk restoration project WI Department of Natural Resources Clam Lake small herd has greatly expanded, expanding into reservation, feeling excited about this expansion.
Also concerns in this area about brook trout and competition with brown trout and climate change.
Superior Curious to know if there will be PFAS monitoring in St. Louis tributary because of Line 3?
Superior ~44% of people in Ashland Co. live in poverty related to EJ & concerns of contaminants. Fish fries, for example.
Superior Many wetlands in WI don't show up on database. Having a better understanding of this would help direct better restoration funding, higher risk, monitoring. WI Department of Natural Resources would also be good to connect with about this.
Superior Stream habitat restoration  Rogen method when you want to think about habitat, should think more about than just stream channel. We should think about outside channel and runoff. Start getting into what Focus Area it fits under. Where do you put projects that may not fit into one Focus Area?
Superior Is there room in projects to use local knowledge to educate project leaders? Few examples of bringing more Tribal members to help educate. Better access to restored/protected areas ais important, better transportation/trails to get people to experience and enjoy.
Superior Recently saw sturgeon in Milwaukee River again ---> this is great!
But still can't eat the fish due to mining, mercury.
Superior Sustenance issue people eat the fish because they need to. Not just recreation.
Superior EJ working-class strikes.
Superior Biggest dangers are oil and mining.
Superior Line 5 disasters not if but when.
Superior Why can't GLRI/federal agencies with expertise do more to prevent/oppose these projects? Coordinate and talk, break down silos.
Superior Public access connect so people can access the areas we've improved.
Superior Hitler studied and modeled the Holocaust based on U.S. federal Indian policy. The U.S.-led Indian policies, enacted by the Dept. of Interior, which was under the department of WAR the policy was kill the Indian, save the white man is as relevant today as the day it became policy of the War Department. Our children live without hopes; corporations push for deregulation and we keep handing our resources over to them. Climate change is relevant climate crisis is upon us. How many and who survives is a question our next generation struggles with daily. Yes the genocide of Indigenous peoples is still at work. As of 2021, our average life expectancy is below the current age when one might be eligible, without penalties, to draw on that. As if the Social Security we worked for our entire lives was nothing more than a fundraiser for the state. We have the highest rates of suicide of our children and adults. Take or destroy our lands and waters, the genocide continues.
Superior How about food sovereignty of Indigenous. That is our biggest pharmacy as well as food supply. How do new oil pipelines ensure this environmental justice?
Superior I would like to know about sand/tar/taconite piles from Duluth, MN, to Superior, Wisconsin. Weather and wind and how close they are to lake. Why two allowed to store so close?
Superior Fish advisory phone is disconnected for eight years now in Wisconsin and/or Minnesota.
Superior So you're telling me a bunch of white guys came and pillaged everything only to continue the marginalization of anyone not fitting your status quo? White people are still in charge of everything and they do ignore the voices of Indigenous people and continue to extract, pollute, overpolice and destroy Native lands.
Superior During the Line 3 movement, Enbridge helped fund police efforts to target water protectors, people trying to stop the oil pipeline and any potential oil spills. Enbridge is a Canadian oil company that has no problem polluting the lands here for profit. When will enough be enough? Water protectors put their lives on the line to protect your water, for your children too. #stopline5
Superior Those currently in power deface and decimate both land and water and populations that protect these things. When will enough be enough? #land back. Put Indigenous lands back in Indigenous hands.
Superior I'm in my 20s. I won't feel comfortable starting a family if I wanted because we can't get the climate crisis under control. What about all the kids? What future are they being handed? Why don't they deserve clean air, water or lands?
Superior Do your jobs. Protect the water, the land, the forests, stand with us. These kids deserve a future.
Superior What a privilege it is to not know about Enbridge or the Line 3 or Line 5 in the local area and how it has already caused so much damage. We want a future. You adults with your money ruined our future!!
Superior Look up the water protectors, the land defenders. Educate yourselves. Tortuguita was publicly executed by state officers protecting Cop City. Manuel Tortuguita Teran died as a forest defender in Atlanta. The kids, the aunties, the grandmothers have been fighting for the land and water. Use your fancy degree for something.
Superior EPA, do something. Or will you wait until we are all sick from drinking water that has been filled with oil spills? The Great Lakes hold so much of the world's fresh water, with Lake Superior alone carrying 10% of the world's fresh water. There are oil pipelines running all along the Great Lakes!!
Superior People have been trying to make noise about the oil pipelines. The spill in Hawaii with the Red Hill facility was caused by the Navy's negligence. The Indigenous people of Hawaii have petrol in their water and over a year later many are still sick and dying from this poisoning of the water and they have not been helped, the issue is not resolved. Will y'all wait this far if oil pipeline 5 spills into Lake Superior? Will you let the Native people die as you transport water bottles in for the rich?
Superior Look at the aquifer breached from oil pipeline Line 3. Look at the harm of drilling fluids on the natural land and the watersheds. Look at the over 1 million gallons of oil spilled by just Line 5 in the last 60+ years. Look at Kalamazoo. How many oil spills will we need for us to stop? The Willow Project in Alaska was approved too. When will it stop?
Superior Look up Winona LaDuke. Look up what 'Honor the earth'is and what the voices of Indigenous-led groups have to say. There are more voices out there. Find them. Indigenous wisdom can save us. Look at the wildfires and the smoke plumes of just 2023 alone. That was preventable. Indigenous knowledge had controlled fires to manage forest, but no one listens.
Superior There is a possibility of a guillotine rupture of the pipeline into the watershed, and thusly right into Lake Superior. #stopline5. Enbridge is running their oil pipelines illegally through B=Native lands. With the storm-related erosion of riverbanks in Bad River is an oil spill risk into Lake Superior. Your understanding of environmental justice is lacking. The people do not trust you. Do better.
Superior How about y'all do your jobs better? Climate justice is a racial justice. How much longer are we going to suffer climate disaster? You need to learn and listen to Indigenous voices. How much water is undrinkable? Fish and other sustainable hunted food inedible?
Superior A lot of the people don't know abut the damage already from Enbridge's Line 3 and Line 5. Do y'all understand hashtags? Look up #stopline5, #stopline3 #waterislife hashtags. Look up Oil & Water Don't Mix or Sierra Club for more of the resources needed.
Cleveland Do you do any targeted outreach to anglers, bait and tackle shops, and sportspeople related to GLRI?
Cleveland Plastic pollution impacts on water quality.
Cleveland Regulating soaps, detergents for chemicals.
Restoration of riparian corridors along Cuyahoga instead of abandoned industry or future business development without natural consideration.
Cleveland Differences communicating delisting goals vs. public perception. PAC vs. EPA level.
Cleveland More indigenous involvement at AOCs.
Cleveland Concerned about the need for more climate change modeling and its impact on Great Lakes water levels, temperature, erosion, evaporation, ice covering, etc.
Cleveland More engagement of youth. More support for innovators, providing they have or are part of a support ecosystem. Keep up the good work in Focus Areas in Plan III.
Cleveland GLRI support enabled us to coordinate the removal of a dam on the river a huge achievement for a citizens group.
Cleveland We are deeply grateful to the GLRI both for its support of our invasive species and habitat restoration work at Mentor Marsh and for your continued support through USDA Wildlife Services of mesopredator control to support the survival of populations of threatened and endangered species, such as the spotted turtle.
Cleveland Invest in stopover/migratory bird habitat. This region is a critical part of the life cycle of migratory birds.
Monitoring can provide opportunity for deep community engagement.
Broaden conservation tent; emphasize equitable conservation; engage early and often.
Wetland restoration with an eye on resiliency; create habitat for marsh birds and prevent runoff, flooding and coastal erosion; reinvest to ensure sustainability of projects.
Cleveland I'm working with a Cleveland Metroparks volunteer program and I'm curious what your thoughts are on volunteers or citizen scientists to build on EPA data gaps. Do you consider volunteers as being helpful for enhancing initiatives like AOCs? If so, how do you see their role evolving over the future?
Cleveland Publicly available data: The maps are great; categorical breakdown by type of project would be very useful for analysis of initiatives locally.
Cleveland The benefits of GLRI for EJ purposes need to be clearly defined by EJ communities. I'd like to see direct outreach to organizations like the Akron Urban League and others within disadvantaged communities that aren't necessarily interested by way of participation in watershed groups or environmental organizations.
Cleveland How can Metroparks apply for FA 5.1 funds?
How can cities apply for FA 5.1 funds?
Cleveland The sewer overflows in downtown Cleveland and then we can't swim in the lake. Please fix the sewer.
Cleveland Cost share/incentivized resident filtration practices like rain gardens and barrels. Public can't front the costs.
Funds to depave areas to promote native plantings.
Cleveland To reduce agricultural runoff, farmer incentives for targeted BMPs are needed. Is this something the GLRI can fund?
Cleveland Integration between focus areas to measure all impacts and maximum project effects.
Continuous monitoring of the lakes vs. short-term, project-based evaluation monitoring.
As the climate shifts, it impacts species and habitats. We don't have to maintain the status quo. New climates will cause habitats to be better suited to new/different species.
Cleveland Invest in educating urban farmers and expanding urban green infrastructure opportunities.
Target Farm Bureau to educate, find common ground and reduce conflict.
Cleveland Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)  limit discharges.
Connections between road salt and phosphorus.
Cleveland How much does the Farm Bill impact GLRI work?
Opportunity to share intersection and overlap authorities used by GLRI to achieve goals and the dollars leveraged through other programs such as the Farm Bill?
Cleveland Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is funding via Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) new biodigester that will likely increase runoff and algal blooms.
Cleveland Urban sprawl with migration due to climate change will impact the Great Lakes Basin increasingly. Should pay attention to wetlands and need for smart urban planning.
Cleveland Phragmites control, unless at a massive scale, may be a black hole for funding, especially with climate change.
Cleveland How to get funds for ongoing invasives control?
Cleveland How to connect the communities I represent with the GLRI and pass funds?
Cleveland How to contribute additional resources and funds for GLRI work?
Cleveland Suggest EPA create an ArcGIS Story Map that has information about GLRI-funded projects.
Alicia shared a story about a GLRI grant Toledo Justice Coalition used to restore habitat for flood reduction and used the opportunity for workforce development, noting multiple positive impacts.
Cleveland Consider adopting new delisting requirements and beneficial use impairment removal criteria that take into account public perceptions.
Cleveland More indigenous involvement in Areas of Concern.
Cleveland How is GLRI addressing climate change?
Should increase planning efforts for climate resilience.
Should consider potential effects of climate change on fish consumption advisories.
Cleveland Consider ways to leverage local businesses to raise awareness of GLRI work and economic revitalization.
Cleveland Noted that they plan to participate in ongoing engagement efforts and will provide more formal comments at a later time.
Cleveland Suggested the idea of a basin-wide Great Lakes Teach-in, where schools across the region participate in a common curriculum day of learning about the Great Lakes.
Lake Erie is the smallest Great Lake but has a large population surrounding it. Why are there so many unresolved water quality issues in Lake Erie?
Didn't know about Focus Area 5 of GLRI prior to the engagement session.
There should be more outreach to get youth into the Great Lakes  improve awareness of and access to the lakes.
Cleveland Are the topic headers named yet? For aquatic species, how many buckets will be available for miso predator control after a project is complete?
Cleveland We have a great botanist on staff at Cleveland Metroparks. He finds new and rare species often. He's been able to add and remove species from the list of invasives. Is there a way to obtain funding for removal/containment of these newly identified species?
Cleveland How far out into the watershed do you need to get for tracking of invasives and what kind of monitoring do you do? Currently the Mentor Marsh Monitoring project is working to remove salt that was improperly disposed of in the 1950s. How far out into the Headwater Habitat is being affected?
Cleveland For projects that have been completed, how do we maintain them and post follow-up planning and funding opportunities?
Cleveland Is community engagement outside of AOCs? With the new EJ bill signed by the president for underserved communities, could you put on a presentation or make available staff/funds/partners to help apply for the funding? Hold a partnership/stakeholders meeting in EJ communities to introduce partners (municipalities, nonprofits, higher learning partners) that could work together as teams to achieve programs, including grant support.
Cleveland Is community engagement outside of Areas of Concern? With the new EJ bill signed by the President for underserved communities. Could you put on a presentation or make available staff/funds/partners to help apply for the funding. Hold a partnership/stakeholders meeting in EJ communities to introduce partners (municipalities, non-profits, higher learning partners)that could work together as "teams" to achieve programs including grant support.
Cleveland Clean water with diverse ecosystems.
Cleveland People are our future! I was surprised the EJ wasn't mentioned.
Cleveland The lakes will change  adapt and facilitate that change.
Cleveland Better funding options for urban resident practices  rain barrel/garden.
Cleveland Implement targeted agricultural BMPs.
Cleveland Climate resiliency is a must!
Cleveland Municipalities are interested in tapping funds and partnerships for GL education.
Cleveland Partners in the GL Business Coalition are intimidated by the process and input opportunities.
Cleveland Local watershed groups (e.g., Chagrin River Watershed) want more watershed-level monitoring. Data is too old and there's a lack of capacity to update  chemical, biological, habitat, erosion.
Cleveland In-migration is already occurring due to climate impacts out west.
Cleveland Make the distinction between local governments and communities.
Virtual 6-27-23 Just to reiterate a suggestion that a few of us seem to want to address is that green stormwater infrastructure projects, with community education, still need maintenance and care at least until plants are established, which we have seen take ~three years. This is a workforce development piece that can be prioritized in tandem with these projects. Otherwise, these fantastic projects fail soon after without proper maintenance. The City of Chicago has some departments that now have moratoriums of installing any more GSI because they cannot care for it without funding. Openlands has been working with city departments and funders to find ways to support funding maintenance. So this is a plea to GLRI as a funder to support maintenance of projects at least minimally for three years.
Virtual 6-27-23 In the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, we are getting increased stormwater runoff from continual residential development on previously forested and no longer utilized farmland. In attending village governmental meetings, I've found that communities are unable to finance stormwater runoff and catch basin efforts at the level required to meet DNR permitting stipulations. What are your recommendations to localities to address this increased stormwater volume that generally includes large amounts of phosphorus from manicured lawns, golf courses and nonporous asphalt surfaces?
Virtual 6-27-23 As the population is aging, there is a larger segment in older adult continuing education efforts, through programs at senior centers and community colleges. As educators, we could use resources to reach this population to educate them in the areas of climate change, storm runoff, etc. Clearly these hands-on programs, which I have utilized via NOAA and Great Lakes Alliance, aren't physically realistic for older adults.
Virtual 6-27-23 A brief film on one of our multi-partner, multi-funding source projects coupling land conservation and stream restoration.
Virtual 6-27-23 Awesome to hear from the youth. In Michigan look for Sturgeon in the Classroom programs typically led by tribes to educate the public on the importance of restoring native fish communities.
Virtual 6-27-23 I think it's important that restoration projects ensure that alternative fuels are used in all equipment. Biodiesel, for example, is a nontoxic and biodegradable fuel that is readily available for use in diesel equipment and vessels in Detroit and elsewhere.
Virtual 6-27-23 Who would be considered vulnerable populations regarding your outreach and how did you go about informing them on the risks and benefits? With your future goals expanding on this tactic, what is going to be changed to more effectively and appropriately provide the information?
Virtual 6-27-23 What is the current understanding of PFAS in the Great Lakes and how it affects water quality/safety and aquatic life in the lakes?
Virtual 6-27-23 If not already planned, providing education regarding the green infrastructure in urban communities should be vital to the plan as more urban areas are least likely to be well informed of the benefits they'll receive from the green infrastructure being implemented in their neighborhood.
Virtual 6-27-23 Is the new emphasis on wetland restoration and floodplain restoration limited to urban settings or would this apply to rural and suburban areas as well?
Virtual 6-27-23 Have there been any FA4 projects implemented that have protected tracts of land-based or aquatic habitats through the purchase of conservation easements or purchase of lands by entities charged with securing/managing permanent land/water conservation?
Virtual 6-27-23 Can you go into a little more detail on what these hands-on education programs look like and their role with more local groups?
Virtual 6-27-23 Focus Area 5  what happened to the lake forums? They were great for reaching the public.
Virtual 6-27-23 It would be great if more funding were available for restoration at our Great Lakes beaches to improve water quality and improve habitat.
Virtual 6-27-23 I just want to reiterate the workforce development importance for the Great Lakes AOCs. In order to address the ongoing climate crisis and mitigating racial inequities, it's important to support opportunities for green jobs. Additionally, may nonprofit and municipal agencies often partner with grassroots or community-led organizations where members volunteer to engage in educational activities, without pay. Volunteers and community leaders should be compensated for their work that addresses water quality, climate change education and their efforts to support other stakeholders.
Virtual 6-27-23 We were recently on a boat tour on the Jackson from GVSU in Indiana. Will funding for this type of outreach return?
Virtual 6-27-23 Any new EPA regulations in progress that will affect new action plans or initiatives?
Virtual 6-27-23 The invasive carp overcompensate. Unless 83+% of the fish are removed from a system every year, the number and therefore the density of invasive carp increases. Peer-reviewed literature analysis of the Illinois vs. Wabash rivers showed that carp commercial-harvested in the lower Illinois has doubled the invasive carp density versus the non-harvested Wabash River. The FWS reported 56% of the young fish in Lake Kentucky are invasive carp. Lake Kentucky is another heavy commercially harvested system.
I am happy to send you the analysis, my 2020 Inspector General complaint (23 pages total, lots of charts, five pages of references). After two-plus years of avoiding, DOI is just now responding; the EPA ignored and the Army Corps of Engineers responded but ignored the data.
GLRI subsidizing of commercial harvesting is several million a year! After 10 years, the Invasive Carp Regional Coordinating Committee has no answer to the invasive carp but to turn a 20+ year $1.5 billion program into a 30-year $2.5 billion program.
The GLRI and Invasive Carp Regional Coordinating Committee should immediately stop subsidizing commercial invasive carp harvesting and urgently work to control the invasive carp in the entire Mississippi Basin. I strongly recommend you request my Inspector General complaint and study the document.
Are the EPA and GLRI going to be part of the fraud increasing the invasive carp?
Virtual 6-27-23 Funding for Anishinaabe (native American) sacred feasts is very important to celebrate graduation from master rain garden classes with traditional foods (ex.: venison and wild rice). It means a lot of paying out of pocket to cover the cost of the food for the past classes. For example, we plan two graduations per year; the need might be approximately $400 total.
We also purchase sweetgrass plugs as sacred gifts for traditional people for their service.
There is also the Water Walk yearly celebration for the people to remember to respect the water where all 12 tribes in Michigan signed an agreement to Protect the Water. It is important to share our culture (elders, fire keepers and medicine men knowledge keepers) with our local community so we have a better understanding of how different we are. For example, the Anishinaabe language is read from right to left and 70% is verbs where English is noun and possession (ownership) to understand opposite thinking  collective vs. individualist.
During the signing of the treaties, we both missed an opportunity to work together. Let us do better to not let this happen again.
Emailed Remediation and habitat restoration projects should require early local community engagement to identify locally important public access improvement needs. This should happen while substantial GLRI investments are being planned to restore water resources and revitalize the economic health of AOC communities.
We should ensure that state and federal partners include and allow sufficient time and funding needed to complete long-term, post-restoration monitoring of restored habitats (especially those that are state and federal permitting requirements).
Local Public Advisory Councils should receive funding support to continue post-AOC planning to advance Great Lakes restoration beyond the limited AOC goals. This cost-effective approach will help communities maintain and build upon the collaborative partnerships and technical expertise developed through the AOC program experience.
Prioritize land acquisition to mitigate the effects of climate change and to increase habitat connectivity and public outdoor recreation in AOCs and delisted AOCs where coastal habitat restoration is needed.
Emailed Dear whom it may concern,

The Great Lakes provide drinking water to millions of New Yorkers and are vital to our economy. GLRI investments are producing results in New York with habitat restoration, reducing pollution, cleaning up toxic hot spots, and addressing invasive species. While much progress has been made, there is still work to be done to protect this precious resource. While updating the GLRI Action Plan for the next 5 years, it is critical that the Agency continue to accelerate steps to revitalize public, economic, and Great Lakes ecosystem health. Maintaining and advancing these existing steps is essential for the long-term health of the Great Lakes. Additionally, the updated Action Plan must also include efforts to make the region more resilient in the face of climate change and promote equity by supporting communities most impacted by pollution and harm.

Climate change is causing more extreme weather and exacerbating existing threats to the Great Lakes. The effects of climate change are impacting Great Lakes communities, wildlife and the economy. Action Plan IV must prioritize investments in climate change resiliency projects such as wetland and habitat restoration that increase the regions' ability to naturally mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Disadvantaged communities are disproportionally impacted by pollution and environmental degradation. Low income, rural, and communities of color are more likely to experience the negative health impacts of drinking water pollution, aging infrastructure, and climate change. Investments in the GLRI have accelerated restoration across the Great Lakes; these investments can also ensure that communities most impacted also benefit from restoration efforts. The updated Action Plan must promote equity and investment in communities most impacted.

The GLRI is critically important to protecting the health of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario and the entire Great Lakes watershed in New York State. It is critical that the updated Action Plan addresses the most pressing threats posed to our Great Lakes in the coming years while accelerating existing steps to revitalize public, economic, and Great Lakes ecosystem health. I urge EPA to prioritize climate change resiliency projects and investments in equity projects benefiting communities most impacted by pollution and harm.

Thank you for your consideration and for EPA's work to protect our lakes.

Emailed Line 5 is a 70 year old pipeline that is operating illegally in the bad river territory. This pipeline needs to be retired. Please shut this dangerous pipeline down before it leaks and contaminates our nations water supply. Please we need water to survive oil is one thing we can live without.
Emailed The primary restoration issue for the Great Lakes is to protect them. Right now, there's an oil pipeline just feet away from exposure, just one storm surge away from rupture.

Enbridge, a Canadian pipeline corporation, has a terrible public safety record throughout the Midwest with major spills in Grand Rapids, MN and Kalamazoo, MI, and due to their recent construction of Line 3/93 where aquifers have been breached causing irreversible.

Their Line 5 operates along Lake Superior through the Upper Peninsula to lower Michigan. It's old, built in the 1950s for a 50 year run. Its now untethered across the Mackinaw Strait and prone to an anchor rupture endangering Lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior. Line 5 is operating illegally, without a lease, on the Bad river Reservation where it's shutdown or rupture is imminent - the word used by a federal judge. In Minnesota the AG referred to them as a bad player.

What these Great Lakes need is protection: Protection from a foreign corporation; Protection from damaging construction; Protection from an imminent oil spill.

Shut Down Line 5!

Emailed Thank you for the opportunity to comment!

How the plan can be improved over previous GLRI action plans?
Define terms for consistency and harmonization through the GL states.
What does it mean to contain vs. control vs. prevent?
Measures of progress that truly tell the story.
Go beyond the beans
Avoid limiting pathway work to a few specific pathway categories.
Provide clear narrative regarding how the GLRI is also geared towards the Basin as a whole

What key priorities should be included in the plan?
Prevention (i.e. pathways work) outside of the few sub-pathways that are currently listed in the plan.
Supporting cross-state collaboration and coordination on this work.
Prioritizing inland pathways the Great Lakes themselves are a major source of invasive species and state managers are focusing on how to keep them from getting into inland lakes, rivers, and wetlands and once they get there how to prevent them from moving around even more (ex. Dock Service Providers). Contrastingly there are numerous pathways more related to inland waterways that have the potential to impact the Great Lakes. These should also be a priority.
Other species besides carp

How can the plan be improved to better incorporate environmental justice and the impacts of climate change?
Include the development of strategies and/or tools that help project managers apply EJ to their work especially where it might now always be obvious (i.e. Focus Area 2 projects in rural, natural areas)

Emailed Lawns represents loss of habitat, natural runoff and water filtering systems, and carbon sinks. Fossil fuels burned to mow lawns, and are ever-increasing as housing increases: Tens of millions of acres. In Ohio, 80% of our stream miles (feeding into Lake Erie - and the Ohio River) are small primary headwater streams, crossing residents' and businesses' properties. These headwaters are protected by deep forests and other native ecosystems - but not when lawns are mowed right up to the headwaters' edges. And having a large nonnative grass lawn and mowing, in general, is a waste - including as habitat for declining species. Why do cities have ordinances to continue to mow lawns, including burning fossil fuels to do so, and using funds better spent on food, education and energy efficiency - not to mention time better spent elsewhere? We need a new aesthetic - since that is what lawns and mowing are all about anyway: Appearance vs functionality and common sense. I would love to help lead this, at no cost. I am a botanist/ecologist, and helped implement a "30 X 30" ordinance with residents in Pepper Pike, Ohio; and I am trying to expand that concept widely. I have led public/private collaborations toward successful sustainability projects before.
Emailed I think it is vitally important to teach students about our Great Lakes for these reasons: 1. They need to feel "ownership" of their state and its resources. This is our home! 2. They need to understand how the Great Lakes waters are used by all living things, not just people. We are a part of a vast ecosystem! 3. They need to understand that our Great Lakes is fresh water, and the largest reservoir of potable water in our country, AND that other people are already trying to "own" this resource. The recent droughts elsewhere make this point even more urgent.
4. I believe there could be water wars in the lifetimes of this year's 6th graders, and they NEED to understand why and how to defend our Great Lakes so they will exist into the future for many years.
5. I also believe that the Great Lakes will become subject to lawmakers and our children will need to understand that their votes may make a difference between living a good life and dying of thirst.
I hope this input helps. Thank you
Emailed For large-scale extirpation of plant invasives like garlic mustard in Ohio, spotted knapweed in UP:
Take advantage of boots on the ground. Undergraduates to lead teams of high school students who need service hours, churches have service requirements for rites like confirmation)
 Same groups can plant indigenous species when an area of invasives is cleared. Engage local college and university ENV programs to recruit for their programs by participation in GLRI projects.

Take advantage of cross-cultural opportunities:
 Ask Tribal communities to engage other BIPOC and white youth in their GLRI activities (My Ohio students helped with Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Natural Resources projects like fishery, greenhouse, stamp-sand beach restoration)

Make GLRI more public with publicity throughout the Basin  your tax dollars at work for clean water, etc.  YouTube videos, videos made as service by communications and journalism majors, Great Lakes youth; make it both general and lake-specific; good recruitment of citizen-scientists. Encourage cross-basin travel and scientific tourism.

Ask Pure Michigan campaign to recruit to GLRI projects while enjoying pure Michigan

Are there GLRI initiatives attached to building of Gordie Howe U.S./Canada Bridge? Relationship of economic/environmental impact may keep funds flowing, increasing.

Attach GLRI initiatives to USDOT divisive infrastructure remediation projects in Basin cities like Toledo and Detroit. Assist low-income communities and neighborhoods in reclaiming land for green spaces, urban agriculture, housing, green infrastructure, pedestrian bridges, walkways reconnecting neighborhoods.

Emailed Thanks for this note. Since the info below specifically mentions EJ and engaging residents who may not have been engaged before in public input sessions, I just wanted to mention two issues specific to our county  languaging and accessibility. Re: languaging, the most common languages in our county, other than English, are Spanish and American Sign Language. How will individuals and communities who aren't using spoken and/or written English be engaged? Re: accessibility, the text in the flyer isnt the same as the email text below and is embedded in an image  is there alt text/image descriptions and will there be multimodal ways to engage in the actual presentation content? Is there a process and contact (and deadline) for any accessibility needs, such as ASL interpretation for the session at Rochester Museum & Science Center? (I didn't see that in the email or flyer). That information would help me consider sharing it.
Emailed I request your consideration to expand partnerships within the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement through an improved GLRI Action Plan to the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The GLRI Action Plan's Focus Area 5, Foundations For Future Restoration Actions indicates the importance for enhanced public-private partnerships providing experience-based and evidence-based career and training education programs in natural resource management.
The development of a partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF), Directorate of Geoscience, Division of Earth Sciences can coordinate funding with public-private human resource development for ecosystem stewardship programs.
There are colleges and universities in the seven states of the Great Lakes Basin conducting existing NSF funded career and training education and research projects.
Coordinating GLRI natural resource management education programs with NSF earth science basic evidence-based and applied scientific and engineering projects can enhance workforce development.
The USDA-NRCS could partner with NSF to expand conservation standards and practices to improve development of sustainable soil health, water quality, air quality, greenhouse gas sequestration, and wildlife habitat within our communities ecosystem infrastructure.
The GLRI Action Plan needs to include partnerships with the National Science Foundation to enhance existing ecosystem stewardship programs with funds for our neighbors communities educational agencies and institutions.
Emailed Are all Great Lake states now focusing on septic causing high bacteria in tributary water? I believe the issue is there are no rules on maintenance of septic so there is rampant contamination.
Emailed Has any consideration been given to encouraging/incentivizing communities to prepare and implement source water protection plans/surface water intake protection plans? These plans encourage communities to think forward, assess sources of contamination, identify nonpoint sources, develop contingency plans to address issues and engage the community in planning, education and protection practices.
Emailed So difficult to create new habitat
Emailed I'm concerned that we are not doing enough to protect existing habitat from disruption from development.
Emailed So happy to see increased focus on stormwater runoff! What kind of priority will be given to underserved communities and will rural communities with agriculture runoff see an increased priority? Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay are priority and seem to suck up all the funds from small communities that have runoff issues.
Emailed Is there an opportunity to recognize more areas for nonpoint source reductions that are within the Great Lakes watershed but which may not be within the priority areas such as the Western Lake Erie Basin or Saginaw Bay? Is there an opportunity to expand the timeline for project implementation and continuation to both expand participation and better assess benefits?
Emailed Much like the Phragmites Task Force or five-year maintenance plans for habitat restoration, green infrastructure projects need a funded mechanism for post-restoration maintenance and upkeep. Grant funding could be offered to a region (like an AOC or watershed) to address a conglomerate of green infrastructure projects/upkeep, including for past projects, and could include a jobs/justice component for seasonal local employment and jobs training.
Emailed Can resources directed toward chloride management be included in this Focus Area?
Emailed This focal area should support eDNA project design and implementation to detect invasives early to support early action! Early detection and response can greatly decrease management costs and better support management success.
Emailed On the coastal eastside of Detroit, we are working through the mitigation of multiple types of residential flooding (sewer backup, runoff intrusion, groundwater seep, inundation), but for our underserved neighborhoods on the eastside, there is an issue around having basic data that would help us rank the importance of each flooding type (which can vary block to block). Also, addressing vulnerabilities with backflow valves and sump would help.
Emailed Many wetlands are built but then are taken over quickly by phragmites and other invasives. Species diversity and long-term care for these critical climate change buffers is a key in larger-scale implementation adoption!
Emailed For Focus Area 4, I'd like to see prioritization focused on genetic diversity for long-term sustainability and health, specifically related to the impacts of fish stocking on native species.
Emailed Are state endangered or important species considered in FA4 or only federally designated species?
Emailed General GLRI question  not necessarily regarding FA1: Could you explain how the GLRI appropriated funding is divided between Focus Areas and also divided between federal agencies to utilize or disperse?
Emailed We have seen great success within Wisconsin's Fox-Wolf Basin through the ability to utilize GLRI funding in innovative conservation programs as well as the ability to engage farmers in a different way than requiring them to sign up for programs through traditional agriculture programs.
Recommendation to continue and/or increase funding available through EPA FA 3 grants so that organizations, like nonprofits, that may have more flexibility and ability to build relationships with farmers that may have reluctance to participate in traditional government programs have the opportunity to engage.
We recommend those grants have a longer implementation time frame and larger dollar amount available. The 2015 GLRI grant cycle allowed for projects with five-year time frames and up to $5M per project. We have seen three-year cycles with much lower project caps. Building support and relationship building for long-term project success is important and takes time.
We appreciate all that GLRI has done in our watershed! Thank you!
Emailed As an alternative to providing more employment opportunities to maintain green infrastructure, it could also be beneficial to inform the neighborhoods that have the green infrastructure of how to maintain it themselves and provide an educational experience for them and their children as well.
Emailed Has this FA [4] been implementing the same desire to implement Indigenous Knowledge of the restoration areas to better work in it?
Emailed Appreciate the emphasis on wetland restoration funding. Wetlands are critical for fish and wildlife habitat, climate adaptability, carbon sequestration, flood retention, nutrient reduction, etc. Can't get a better investment to assist GLRI goals!
Emailed Will prioritization be given to watershed practices that target nutrient and sediment reduction to directly impact the BUIs identified downstream? AOC boundaries are great; however, the sources are often outside these boundaries and the required work often needs to be focused outside the boundaries to bring about the changes we need within the boundaries.
Emailed The Inflation Reduction Act funding for urban forestry used the Justice40 Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool to plan where projects can take place and have no match. What I've seen on the map are that there are locations that are underresourced and/or EJ and not covered under this tool. Similarly, there are wealthy communities that are covered under this map. I would recommend finding a more localized/state-specific underresourced/EJ map that might have more clarity on which communities should be covered under Justice40 communities.
Milwaukee Where s the EJ fact sheet?  
Milwaukee EPA should be the one on the front lines about Line 5 and not citizens.  
Milwaukee Liked the approach and appreciated the intentionality of the session. What GLRI educational opportunities are there in Milwaukee?  
Milwaukee How is EPA ensuring EJ grants and funding are going to benefit the right communities and organizations?  
Milwaukee How to maintain restoration work after the project is ended? Can sediment reaccumulate following cleanup projects?  
Milwaukee Noticed a growing number of litter hot spots in their area. We need to reignite anti-littering campaigns and programs.  
Milwaukee Concerned about increased trash accumulation in heavily used parks. To engage youth, water needs to be more accessible (multilingual signs, etc.).  
Milwaukee More alleyway drains should run to bioswales. Does EPA have a stance on parking minimums? Would be good to reference for efforts to reduce impermeable surfaces.  
Milwaukee How will EJ and climate fit into Focus Area 5? Want to know that everyone in the Milwaukee community is aware of and can benefit from the GLRI, but opportunities and funding currently don t reach everyone. A healthy ecosystem is important, but so is an inclusive environment. There are procedural barriers for folks to connect to GLRI opportunities, so there is a need for more accountability and support for community engagement. Have public engagement and how representative that engagement is as measures of success. Promote awareness and access to work development opportunities. Pre-meetings ahead of such engagement sessions to inform folks about the GLRI would also be beneficial. The best way to find innovative solutions is to build relationships with the communities where those solutions are needed.  
Milwaukee Concerned about population increases in the Great Lakes region due to climate migration.  
Milwaukee Concerned about eutrophication.  
Email Green InfrastructGreen Infrastructure maintenance is difficult to commit to, has become an issue for grantees, and a potential barrier to getting more GI work done. Second, that the need to protect open lands connected to our Great Lakes is increasingly important and more of that needs to be done so that less restoration will be required.
ure maintenance is difficult to commit to, has become an issue for grantees, and a potential barrier to getting more GI work done. Second, that the need to protect open lands connected to our Great Lakes is increasingly important and more of that needs to be done so that less restoration will be required.
Email In "Home Rule" states, like New York, land use decisions, including whether to have land use regulations, are made by local boards with no professional background in land use regulatory tools, benefits or limitations. Often, municipalities responsible for approving development have no idea what is good and what is harmful development. We can help these municipalities to understand how, and act to protect their critically important watershed open space by helping them adopt a subdivision tool called "Conservation Subdivision Design (CSD)" process.  
Email Create a multi-year Regional Circuit-Rider Program (Land Use Outreach and Technical Assistance) - Introduce the Conservation Subdivision Design (CSD) process to Great Lakes watershed municipal leaders and their communities across the "home rule" regions and help them adopt CSD into their local subdivision laws. Here is how it works: The form and pattern of Land Use in the Great Lakes watershed has a profound ability to negatively or positively impact the Great Lakes. Development demands on lands near the lakeshores are ever increasing. This is especially true now in Central New York with a very large Micron (microchip manufacturer) coming into the watershed. Hardening of the landscape in sprawling patterns of residential and commercial development that will accompany this development increases stormwater runoff speeds and volumes and translates into negative impacts to the lakes, watershed area communities, and dependent species of all kinds. This is in addition to the already difficult to address agricultural runoff impacting eastern Lake Ontario and other great lakes. There is a need to step up watershed land conservation efforts to preserve absorptive lakeshore public open space and preserve water quality and ecosystem services like flood mitigation, habitat support for native and migrating species, and quality of life through access to nature. However, land use regulation in the State of New York is decided by "home rule" and implemented at the local municipal level without any professional land planning guidance required. This has led to limited action to conservation open space or encourage low impact development. Land Trusts are trying, but there is not enough impact possible through land trusts alone. There is a solution to this problem. A region-wide land use educational outreach and implementation program supporting local governments could introduce and assist in adoption of "Conservation Subdivision Design (CSD)" process into municipal subdivision regulations. CSD is a land use tool that implements conservation in perpetuity as a component of local Major Subdivision process, over time making a significant impact to the health of watersheds, habitats and community well-being. CSD is a simple sketch plan process that is written into local subdivision regulation that can apply to an identified high value overlay district or an entire municipal jurisdiction. The process requires identification of high value resources such as lakeshore, stream corridors, forested lands, unique ecosystems, important habitats, viewsheds, etc. which are prioritized for a simple conservation easement. A sketch plan process identifies appropriate development areas as well as conservation areas and property owners retain their full development rights (by number of units) because they are allowed through CSD to build in a more dense pattern of development while entering 50% or more of the total lands into a conservation easement that can be privately or publicly held, from an HOA or land trust, to a park, or farm. In any of these instances, the conservation easement established runs with the properties so that they can never be developed further. As a component of the local subdivision law, the process is applied to every major subdivision of land in the CSD zoning overlay, and therefore amounts to a guarantee of growing conservation easements of open, absorbent lands as each year passes, building healthy protected landscapes that assure water quality, protected habitats, reduced flood risks, add to quality of life in the community as they catalyze opportunities for nature-based economic growth in the region. This kind of program, implemented over ten years in a "home Rule" region could have tremendous impacts and CSD requires no maintenance like a GI project does. Please consider funding this kind of land use outreach and technical assistance work. We find it is our greatest need, and most effective method of protecting important watershed areas from future impacts. We have already developed the legal language for CSD that could be introduced and adopted in New York State. We just need the funding to support the outreach, education and assistance to municipalities.  
Email It's great to focus on preventing new invasives, but it's important to note that there are still a great deal of existing invasive/non-native species that are having a large impact. So perhaps an analysis of which invasives are causing the most damage and continued focus on removing those as well.  
Email Most recent efforts seem heavily aquatic based. While the shoreline and aquatic species are given great focus, more attention needs to be given to riparian areas upstream, all the way into the headwaters, identifying all invasive species that travel along aquatic pathways. The species won t be eradicated by only treating the shoreline.  
Email Hemlock Wooly Adelgid identification and treatment across the watershed is critical. The loss of our hemlock forests (including those in the headwaters) would be devastating to water quality and habitat - especially with our watershed's highly erodible soils.  
Email Protect and restore communities of native aquatic and terrestrial species important to the Great Lakes.  
Email Acres of coastal wetland, nearshore, and other habitats restored, protected, or enhanced.  
Email WNYLC would like to continue to protect and restore habitat that supports important GL species and protect, restore, enhance and provide connectivity for these habitats. Efforts such as these have been underway under projects such as our Niagara Gorge restoration project, our work in the Niagara River Greenway conserving important forests, our Riverline projects in the city of Buffalo, and our Western New York Wildway landscape-scale conservation project that puts special emphasis on connectivity and habitat.  
Email We d like to emphasize the importance of land protection throughout the entire watershed. While we re happy to do nearshore projects, water quality does not begin or end at the shoreline. If you aren t equally focused upstream and on headwaters, you re allowing degradation of the habitat to the point of discharge and are going to struggle to have a flourishing, functioning ecosystem at the shoreline.  
Email Miles of connectivity established for aquatic species
A second phase of our WNY Wildway project is looking at barriers to wildlife movement; both aquatic and terrestrial, and considering where to increase the size of culverts or passages under or over major roadways to decrease high mortality rates of wildlife road crossings. This could potentially overlap with the migration patterns of particular species and could also fall under Objective 4.2 below depending on the nature of the project. Here we'd suggest mapping where aquatic species are hitting barriers to movement and would potentially work with partners such as Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper.
Email Expansion of GLRI Action Plan Focus Area 5 policies for education and stewardship programs of natural resource conservation management standards and practices in the Great Lakes Basin ecosystems is essential.

Expanded public-private research partnerships for science-based natural resource conservation standards and practices for enhanced basalt rock weathering processes is an essential carbon sequestration component for continued sustainable Great Lakes Basin ecosystem development.

Expansion of the cooperative partnerships of the Department of Interior s USGS Geology, Energy & Minerals Science Center can include federal land-grant colleges and universities for natural resource conservation education proExpansion of GLRI Action Plan Focus Area 5 policies for education and stewardship programs of natural resource conservation management standards and practices in the Great Lakes Basin ecosystems is essential.

Expanded public-private research partnerships for science-based natural resource conservation standards and practices for enhanced basalt rock weathering processes is an essential carbon sequestration component for continued sustainable Great Lakes Basin ecosystem development.

Expansion of the cooperative partnerships of the Department of Interior s USGS Geology, Energy & Minerals Science Center can include federal land-grant colleges and universities for natural resource conservation education programs, stewardship training programs and management of Areas of Concern projects.

Expanded GLRI grant application to the National Science Foundation s Directorate of Geoscience for funds to establish science-based R&D of enhanced basalt rock weathering standards and practices will improve sustainable resources.

In addition, expansion of basalt rock mining permits on federal lands by the Department of Interior s Bureau of Land Management to the USGS Geology, Energy & Minerals Science Center and federal land-grant colleges and universities can improve R&D of enhanced basalt rock weathering processes.
Inclusion of science-based natural resource conservation standards and management practices within the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs can establish enhanced basalt rock soil amendment conservation practices.

I realize the Inflation Reduction Act provides $19.5 billion over five years to support USDA s conservation programs, but enhanced basalt rock weathering R&D with carbon sequestration and nutrient conservation practices needs NSF Directorate of Geoscience verification for Great Lakes Basin sustainability.

I include References:
USDA Climate-Smart Agriculture: Rock Amendments,

The environmental controls on efficiency of enhanced rock weathering in soils,

Environmental and health impacts of atmospheric CO2 removal by enhanced rock weathering depend on nations energy mix,, stewardship training programs and management of Areas of Concern projects.

Expanded GLRI grant application to the National Science Foundation s Directorate of Geoscience for funds to establish science-based R&D of enhanced basalt rock weathering standards and practices will improve sustainable resources.

In addition, expansion of basalt rock mining permits on federal lands by the Department of Interior s Bureau of Land Management to the USGS Geology, Energy & Minerals Science Center and federal land-grant colleges and universities can improve R&D of enhanced basalt rock weathering processes.
Inclusion of science-based natural resource conservation standards and management practices within the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs can establish enhanced basalt rock soil amendment conservation practices.

I realize the Inflation Reduction Act provides $19.5 billion over five years to support USDA s conservation programs, but enhanced basalt rock weathering R&D with carbon sequestration and nutrient conservation practices needs NSF Directorate of Geoscience verification for Great Lakes Basin sustainability.

Email I was at the listening session in Milwaukee this week and spoke with someone at the Agricultural/Stormwater Runoff booth. She asked me to write and she would try to answer my question.

I very much support and appreciate all the efforts to clean up our lakes and rivers. This includes cleaning stormwater and agricultural runoff.

However, I d also like to see the Action Plans include preventing more pollution.

For example, salt runoff is a big source of pollution in our local rivers and Lake Michigan. This comes from business and individuals using too much salt. It also comes from large open piles of salt that are stored year-round in our Milwaukee Harbor very close to the water.

It is difficult if not impossible to remove once in the water.

So I d like to see two things:

1) The EPA or other federal agencies get the Port of Milwaukee to stop leasing our public lands near the water for salt storage. It may be cheaper for the companies storing and selling the salt to store it in the port, but we are assuming the costs later with salt pollution in our lake.

2) More of a public education campaign to teach people how to apply salt better and about alternative methods of controlling ice. I believe the MKE Riverkeeper does this, so perhaps they are a model you can us.

By Email I very much support and appreciate the large amount of work that is being done to clean up the Great Lakes.

However, I believe the Action Plan should also include efforts to prevent more pollution. It doesn t make sense to clean up the Lakes and still allow activities that are causing pollution or are a real danger to cause future pollution.

One such activity is the continued operation of Line 5.

Enbridge's 70 year old oil pipeline is a real threat to Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and many rivers as well as the Kakagon and Bad River Sloughs (recognized as a wetland of international importance). This pipeline has leaked many times. Moree importantly, this year erosion of the Bad River is close to undercutting the pipeline which would cause a catastrophic spill. That spill would harm the Sloughs, wild rice and fisheries more than could be cleaned up by any action plan.

Shutting down Line 5 also meets your overall objectives for all your work:

Pursuing climate resiliency.
If Line 5 is shut down rather than rerouted and rebuilt, it will help slow down the production of oil that is causing climate change

Advancing environmental justice.
The Bad River Tribe has asked the federal government to shut down Line 5.

A federal court has already determined that Enbridge is trespassing on the Bad River Reservation and must shut down or move the pipeline in a few years.

With the current danger of a break if there is another large storm, the federal government should act now to shut down Line 5.

Line 5 is also threatening the Great Lakes with its crossing at the Straits of Mackinac. The government of Michigan has tried to shut it down, but has been prevented. There is great danger of a spill in this area and it would be very difficult (if not impossible in the winter) to clean up.

In conclusion, shutting down Line 5 should be part of any Action Plan for the Great Lakes region. (5 identical emails submitted)

By Email To whom it may concern,

In the next GLRI Action Plan IV, it would be beneficial to see either Focus Area 1 be expanded to include structural long term practice installation of watershed projects OR increased funding to Focus Area 3 to cover implementation of more structural watershed projects. These projects are expensive and are an integral piece of the reductions needed to reach downstream water quality and the opportunity to remove various BUI s and get closer to delisting an AOC. Most Great Lakes AOCs have eutrophication issues as a result of urban and rural non-point runoff of excess sediment and nutrients. With a large portion of these non-point sources coming from agriculture. Without addressing the upstream inputs (typically outside of the AOC boundary) the BUI s associated with these inputs will not be removed. AOC boundaries and Action Area 1 funds are highly effective for point source clean up. However, these are not the only serious human and ecological threats to these regions. Many of the degraded fish and wildlife habitat/populations/reproduction, drinking water source limitations, undesirable algae/HABs, water contact health, waterfront aesthetics, etc are all related to factors within and outside of the AOC boundary. By limiting the funds and ability to work on the sources/causes of these additional BUI issues, you limit the success of GLRI dollars to have a measurable impact on AOCs. This could drastically limit support of future GLRI funding if real measurable improvements are not being demonstrated.

In the next GLRI Action Plan IV, it would be productive to edit the exclusionary language around GLRI funds as they pertain to permit alternate compliance programs in Wisconsin. As adaptive management and phosphorus trading compliance programs continue to increase in WI, the current ineligibility language in most current GLRI RFPs would reduce the number of applicants able to apply and contribute to the reductions needed to delist BUIs and AOCs around WI. It is understood that the intent is to limit State and/or Federal funds going to completely cover regulatory costs, and Federal infrastructure funding has been available to permitted point sources to accomplish upgrades needed to meet new regulation. As the ways in which we are now meeting regulation evolves, we hope the funding opportunities would as well. Especially, when these efforts work to accomplish shared environmental goals.

Thank you for your consideration and continued efforts improving our cherished Great Lakes system. (5 identical emails submitted)

Location� Comment�
Detroit Issue: Combined sewer areas, flooded basements, stormwater management
  Idea: All older depressed freeways  I-94, I-75 (Chrysler & Fisher), M-10 (Lodge), M-39 (Southfield & Davidson)  build deep tunnels under rights of way (ROWs)  eliminate pump stations along ROWs that pump into combined sewers. Problem: When existing pumps work increases, flooded basements; when pumps don't work, you have flooded freeways (I-94). These tunnels take the place of many hosted streams. The tunnels would be the outlet for separated stormwater management. Outlet would be Rouge and Detroit rivers and Lake St. Clair.
  Note: There would be basic treatment at tunnel outlet.
  Best practices for separated stormwater could be placed along these new underground rivers/tunnels.
Detroit Issue: Detroit's existing natural outlets for separated stormwater management:
  1. Rouge Park
  2. Old Rogell Golf Course (7 Mile & Lahser)
  3. Brightmoor (Creek) south of Fenkell, east of Lahser/Outer Dr.
Detroit Presently Environmental Justice appears to be integrated into the existing focus areas but could possibility fare better with dedicated projects if it was instead an independent focus area.
Detroit Invest and use tools to prioritize projects in historically underserved communities, with true collaboration, workforce development, job training and projects that improve community health and safe access to the outdoors. Environmental justice screening tools, traditional ecological knowledge and nature-based resilience support tools are all critical.
Detroit Invasive species  The recognition and adoption of traditional ecological knowledge is a key change to strengthen invasives prevention and improve equity. The measures of progress should include more direct and specific language to incorporate the knowledge and practice of the region's Tribes.
Detroit Strengthen equity in AOC cleanup by facilitating broader input in the Public Advisory Councils and incorporate traditional ecological knowledge.
Detroit Nonpoint source pollution:
  We support the focus on preventing and managing nutrient runoff. Collaboration on a watershed scale is critical. We need those Farm Bill programs to be targeted and tailored to the particular landscape and watersheds. Climate change is going to increase flooding risk and create uncertainty with polluted runoff, not to mention jeopardize health, homes , drinking water sources from algal blooms and more.
Detroit As suggested, I'm writing to ask about how we can get children from Detroit out on the big water to engage in/learn about research related to fish, surface water quality, weather, climate, etc.
  Literally anything that they could learn about and get excited to share in doing.
Detroit I appreciate the presentation but thought it would've been good to allow time for audience Q&A before asking people to go to each feedback station. Particularly on Environmental Justice, I would've liked to hear how audience members are trying to address the Environmental Justice-related problems in their communities and projects. Thank you!
Detroit Need for an increased focus on building up communities and becoming more resilient to stressors such as climate, migration, economics.
Detroit Fund more education projects (K-12).
Detroit Long-term monitoring that provides adoptive management framework is critical. It also helps connect communities and provide data for communication of progress.
Detroit This process is not meaningful without verbal public comment to hear each other.
Detroit More $ toward habitat and species work.
  Funding interdisciplinary projects connecting habitat to birds/fish/people.
  More effort in enhancing natives.
Detroit Technical assistance for green infrastructure projects in local underserved communities.
Detroit Investing a larger % of GLRI funds to social science, community-focused organizations and communications and outreach. Also just some place-based programs (know you're doing some of this already) like Wild Indigo.
Detroit Lakeside communities have not seen equitable investment in their futures coastline erosion or lake-level rise; more research or implementation in strategies that help underserved communities. $ for $ matching in projects.
Detroit There are not enough nutrients in the open lake. All the attention is about reducing nutrients in the nearshore. What can be done to increase them in the middle of the lakes?
Detroit More regulation is needed to reduce ag runoff. Voluntary efforts are not enough.
Detroit When providing access for underserved communities to water in newly restored areas, real-time E. coli information is needed to help them know when it's safe to recreate in the water. Otherwise, access is not meaningful, or can even be harmful. Environmental Justice communities need to receive timely alerts.
Detroit Are there ways for students to get involved with projects? Or connect with EPA staff for mentoring?
Detroit More examples of how GLRI projects are addressing Environmental Justice is needed.
Detroit Not everyone can access the Great Lakes. Is funding available for student field trips?
Detroit How are the focus areas competing with the bigger concerns of underserved communities?
Detroit Funding set-asides for education specific asides for education only rather than competing for same funds as implementation projects.
Detroit More emphasis on stewardship education as part of the program overall stewardship framed as an Environmental Justice/climate justice issue stewardship for youth with least amount of access.
Detroit Impacts of climate change on Great Lakes ecosystem how can GLRI apply explicitly to mitigation/adaptation efforts? (And metrics as well.)
Detroit Environmental Justice should be its own focal area. Strategically select and connect Environmental Justice projects with GLRI projects (historical, present).
Detroit More connection to public health emphasis on health equity metrics as measure of progress. E.g., connection of green infrastructure to affordable housing or schools.
8-23-23 Virtual Seeing the incredible restoration achievements of the GLRI program since its establishment is amazing, but there are emerging challenges due to climate change that are putting many of the achievements we have collectively made at risk. How will future GLRI action plans address these challenges through strategies to drive investments to protect ecosystems against extreme and unpredictable weather patterns?
8-23-23 Virtual I would like to voice support for work on terrestrial invasive species and systems within the Basin as this supports, and is necessary to maintain, the health aquatic systems.
8-23-23 Virtual One of the barriers in my urban subregion of the Great Lakes to implementing greater investments in nature-based solutions/green Infrastructure is land acquisition to bring land into the control of entities that can restore it to serve as multi-benefit green infrastructure? Are there opportunities for GLRI to help fund investments in land acquisition and protection projects in the Great Lakes Basin? The cheapest-to-implement green infrastructure is land that is keeping land that is already vacant from being developed and turned to impervious surfaces.
8-23-23 Virtual Will the next Action Plan include an initiative to manage and preserve the large quantities of data and information being collected under GLRI to make it available to inform future efforts?
8-23-23 Virtual Just want to echo concerns about Line 5 and making sure GLRI is providing some kind of material support to the Bad River Band of Ojibwe and other Tribes who are trying to shut down this dangerous aged oil pipeline. Thanks for all you do. I don't require a response to this.
8-23-23 Virtual Just a bit more about the 70-year-old Canadian tar sands pipeline Enbridge Line 5, and a general question it prompts:
  Given it has helped turn its destination Sarnia, Ontario, upstream of the Detroit River and the rest of the Great Lakes into the most polluted place in North America, spilled repeatedly in Wisconsin and Michigan, and now constitutes a ticking time bomb threatening catastrophic spills into the Great Lakes watershed especially at the Bad River and Straits of Mackinac:
  How will the GLRI help to shut it down, and more generally, stop other ongoing causes and/or threats of massive water pollution?
8-23-23 Virtual I live in the Green Bay, Wisconsin, area. The bay of Green Bay is the largest freshwater estuary in the world. We are seeing growing contamination of PFAS forever chemicals in the bay, especially near Peshtigo and Marinette because of firefighting foam contamination. Is PFAS one of the chemical contaminants being considered/monitored?
8-23-23 Virtual As mega farms take the place of family farms in rural Wisconsin, we see huge equipment used in ways that no longer respects border lands along rivers and plant division rows to prevent erosion of topsoil into rivers. Is GLRI making recommendations about changes in farming techniques to protect the topsoil?
8-23-23 Virtual What kind of science investment is being made into the family of PFAS contaminants? Because PFAS binds to water, it is particularly hard to remediate.
8-23-23 Virtual We have a lot of farm-related phosphorus and nitrogen runoff in Lake Michigan, which causes toxic algae blooms. Any work being done on that?
8-23-23 Virtual Do you have any plans to expand airborne mercury monitoring across the basin and expand analysis of trends in fish and wildlife? If not, please consider.
8-23-23 Virtual Can you talk about any actions you are taking to protect cold- and cool-water species in the face of climate change, including upstream habitat?
8-23-23 Virtual Will the GLRI provide funding and/or support for erosion prevention? Northeast Ohio does not have the same issues with phosphorous and algae that other areas have. Our residents along Lake Erie have physical and socioeconomic vulnerabilities due to climate change-promulgated erosion. Climate change has caused Lake Erie to not regularly freeze in the winter, which has increased the erosion of the shoreline.
8-23-23 Virtual Has there been any consideration of the bacteria that produce harmful algal blooms as an invasive species? Apologies if that is a ridiculous question...
8-23-23 Virtual For outreach re: consumption of GLs fish to communities that do more subsistence fishing, how does GLRI prioritize building partnership with those communities and engaging in various languages (e.g., in Detroit outreach should include Spanish, Arabic, Bengali and more)?
8-23-23 Virtual Does GLRI use EJSCREEN, CJEST or some other tool to identify/prioritize underserved communities for things like green infrastructure investments? Or does each grant program/focus area have a specific eligibility or priority criteria? Or do communities self-identify as underserved? And does Justice40 apply to GLRI investments?
8-23-23 Virtual I live in Buffalo, NY, and worked on chemical contamination in sediment. Is Great Lakes National Program Office considering monitoring or evaluating microplastics in the Great Lakes? Is there any cooperation with Canada on this?
8-23-23 Virtual Interested to hear future plans to manage and attenuate nutrient loads into the lakes via surface water and groundwater. Are water quality treatment Best Management Practices (BMPs), such as constructed treatment wetlands, stream restoration (designed to optimize nutrient removal), bioreactors and other innovative BMPs such as application of nontoxic sediment nutrient inactivation absorptive products, being considered or implemented?
8-23-23 Virtual For invasive species, are plant species in inland areas also addressed? Thinking about how something like autumn olive overtakes native species and has a cascade effect on quality of habitat for wildlife, and which is connected to water health in terms of filtration.
8-23-23 Virtual Are the stormwater runoff bioswales committed to using only native plant species, to also provide habitat for plummeting populations of pollinators?
8-23-23 Virtual Having worked in the public schools for the past seven years, the majority of children in our public schools could arguably be considered underserved when it comes to climate-based curriculum and any consideration (let alone implementation) of on-the-ground restoration projects. Were there to be programs and initiatives to move the overall MI public education system away from standardized testing and technology focus to instead empower children to learn the practicalities of stewardship, that would certainly be transformative.
8-23-23 Virtual After reading Dan Egan's book The Death and Life of the Great Lakes Region I'm wondering whether any additional regulations are being proposed to prevent introduction of invasive species, e.g., zebra and quagga mussels, etc., into the lakes and preventing agricultural discharge into tributaries that contribute to algae blooms?
8-23-23 Virtual I am most concerned about the potential of an oil spill from Enbridge Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac, which would affect both Lakes Michigan and Huron and into the Bad River watershed, which provides spawning grounds for most of Lake Superior's fishery as well as the wild rice beds. I live in northern Wisconsin.
8-23-23 Virtual Line 5 why is this being allowed?
8-23-23 Virtual How much partnering goes on between EPA and organizations like the Nature Conservancy? Latter has some expert projects on restructuring land surfaces and channels to retard runoff, working quite a bit with farmers, including to gain their buy-in.
8-23-23 Virtual The shoreline around Bay Harbor, NW Michigan coast, suffered from buried industrial cement/lime tailings that turned the water alkaline, off-limits for recreational use. Has EPA encountered this kind of contamination elsewhere in the Great Lakes? Do funds exist for buried shoreline contaminants, and if so, how are restoration efforts of this nature coming?
8-23-23 Virtual So I did give a thumbs-up to the question about Line 5 and certainly what comes to mind for me is when we're looking at Areas of Concern, it's really important to avoid future Areas of Concern, I think, especially at a place like where the Straits are and the catastrophe that a spill or an explosion or what
  have you would be at Line 5. And even with the tunnel project, there are a lot of problems with that. If we think about Bay Mills Tribe, they are very much wanting Enbridge gone and out of there and part of the plan for the tunnel would contaminate those waters to where it would damage the whitefish population. And so I know that I've been telling my daughter this is such a nice webinar, because usually I think a lot of people in this room are probably pretty stressed about all the threats and the dangers. So it's really great to see these cleanup efforts.
  But I kind of wanted to segue over to talking about whitefish, thinking about species and animal species and that sort of restoration effort and how many ecological services they provide. And I wonder how the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative could, you know, most expediently be applied to help usher in a new day of how animal species and wildlife overall is viewed. And to have it be more of an understanding that we're in relationship with them.
  And one example that comes to mind of what I want to uplift as an issue is thinking about wetlands and how wetlands have such an important role in the health of our waters. Even for inland people like me, I see a lot more green on rivers lately from runoff and whatnot. But thinking about beaver, it was a myth in our language that they really do the best job in a lot of ways of wetland restoration. Their task at hand is keepers of rivers and of river health and they never drew a line on a map that said, This is the river, they've always been changeable. The only problem that I think a beaver could be seen to have on a river is this idea that somehow the map that was drawn at some random time would be what a river is.
  So the problem I wanted to bring up is when wildlife species are seen as nuisances, and quite literally just this past May, the Michigan DNR put the beaver on a list of nuisance species, which allows for people to say they're damaging property to be able to kill them. There's not an expert that needs to be consulted with. It was a long list of animal species who we call relative that were included on this list that are going to be integral to any sort of sustained advances made. They all have a lot of important work that they do. They don't have a voice for it. But, you know, without our relatives and our animal species, one, we don't have a way to measure success. If we think about all the things that frogs do, all the things beaver do, they are so important. And I wonder if part of the initiative can be sort of leveraged to say these animal species are really important and are going to be central to any ongoing success to have their habitat and their lives respected.
8-23-23 Virtual I just wanted to put a plug in for GLRI continuing to fund work to control forest pests, including hemlock woolly adelgid, particularly as it relates to preserving water quality and water temperature here in the northern part of New York State. We're on the forefront now of the hemlock woolly adelgid infestation and are very concerned that our water temperatures and then our cold-water fisheries are going to be impacted by the species. And I know a lot of places in the Great Lakes Basin are able to rely on GLRI, particularly for hemlock woolly adelgid control. So just want to ask you to continue to do that.
8-23-23 Virtual I just wanted to ask one other question I've been having regarding some of the treatment type, water quality treatment type, Best Management Practices that are being implemented, is the dissolve versus particulate kind of fraction of nutrients, particularly phosphorus being considered. What I've seen a lot of is people look at total phosphorus, total nitrogen and a lot of times that isn't going to hit the mark when you are dealing with an algal community that is very much vibrant on the mobilized fraction of the nutrients. So just wanted to know if that was something that is being considered whenever projects are being proposed and/or funding is being sort of distributed. Is that a plan in the future?
  A lot of times when I see project ranking, a lot of people look at a dollar per pound of total and I just wanted to caution if there are projects out there that can provide a higher removal of dissolved that probably should have a different kind of ranking or elevation of the scoring if it's being evaluated. Because those projects that just remove sediment are easy hanging fruit. It's much more difficult to get rid of the dissolve fraction. So if there are projects that can be elevated because of that factor, it would also increase the dollar per pound but it just does really get you a little bit closer to the end goal of removing or reducing algae proliferation.
8-23-23 Virtual While looking at the photo of this slide, how it says cultural uses of restorative protected habitat, such as fishing, hunting and recreation, that's certainly accurate. I also wanted to mention the cultural uses for Tribal Nations, for Indigenous people, includes ceremonial and our medicines. The species are all repositories of our stories and our teachings.
  So, without particular beings and without a flourishing habitat, we don't have our culture anymore. It's not just the words on the page. So thinking about in relation to that, the need to sort of go beyond an extractive sort of frame of mind of what and how we interact with particularly keystone species, thinking about wolves very much and all the benefits they provide to a balanced ecosystem these species that are seen quite wrongly, I think, as a nuisance. I think it's sort of akin to what was mentioned about previous practices of the way things were built, the way shorelines were treated, and realizing those were missteps and sort of need to be stewarded back to a place where it's less stress and is allowed to sort of recover in the way that I think earth is ready to recover when we sort of put our hands in stewardship.
  I love all these projects and I'll definitely use them as an uplift, a pick-me-up when looking at the different things this initiative is accomplishing. But I just want to say that in a lot of spaces, decisions made about wildlife are very entrenched where animals like wolves and like beaver aren't really talked about in a way that foregrounds restoration, even though they're very critical to long-term functional habitat and ecosystems. So just wanted to say that when we're thinking about species, about those particular keystone species, we really need to move past just seeing them as only the purview of those who would hunt them or want to hunt them. They're really critical partners in all of this.
  Thank you for seeking public input on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan IV.
  As you finalize this plan, I recommend the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative fund remediation efforts for Ohio's Areas of Concern including the Black River, Cuyahoga River and Maumee River following decades of pollution and habitat destruction. This involves addressing the legacy of environmental injustice faced by communities along these rivers and Lake Erie. The draft Action Plan can be improved by better supporting workforce development and diverse education goals, as well as expanding the equity matrix to accelerate Environmental Justice.
  Additionally, I suggest the plan more comprehensively address the impacts of climate change on Great Lakes water quality and restoration efforts through implementation of adaptive management strategies.
  Finally, I recommend the plan be improved beyond what has been proposed in previous Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plans to address water pollution, including the careful monitoring and enforcement of nutrient reduction efforts, as well as addressing PFAS contaminants in our waterways.
Email The protection, restoration and management of the Great Lakes, which provide clean drinking water to 40 million people and habitat to more than 350 bird species, is crucial for the well-being of communities and wildlife throughout the region.
  I support prioritizing actions in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan IV that increase resilience in the face of climate change, promote equitable outcomes for communities most impacted by environmental degradation and accelerate the health of the Great Lakes. To achieve this, please consider the following:
  - Elevate and integrate equity and inclusion in the GLRI Action Plan IV so we can grow the vitality of the Great Lakes region. Expanding access to natural areas for those who have been historically underserved by conservation benefits those communities and restoration efforts. Meaningfully engaging underserved communities in decision-making and remediation efforts should be prioritized.
  - As indicator species, birds tell us the health of the Great Lakes. Invest in collecting data for focal species and their unique habitat needs--especially for the Black Tern, which has the highest annual rates of decline among all Great Lakes breeding marsh birds. Expand the GLRI's focus on marsh bird population recovery and invest in the capacity of agencies and communities to conduct marsh restoration. Prioritizing investments in long-term, collaborative monitoring at scale will also fill knowledge gaps and inform best management practices across the basin.
  - The Great Lakes region is uniquely positioned to help recover long-distance migratory bird populations, and supports nearly 200 species during their migration. The GLRI should invest in migratory stopover habitat, focusing on the most threatened species utilizing the coasts in migration.
  - In the face of climate change and spread of invasive species, we must build capacity and tools to maintain healthy ecosystems. Wetland restoration with an eye towards coastal resiliency and water quality creates natural infrastructure that protects communities. Prioritize long-term investment in sites that offer a win-win-win of habitat, resiliency, and nutrient/sediment reduction.
  Thank you for your consideration of my suggestions to protect and steward the largest freshwater ecosystem on the planet.
Email I grew up in Toledo and eventually moved to the Greater Akron area. I was there in 2014 when the water was declared toxic and we could not drink or use the water for days. Since then I know the city has been pumping more cleaning solutions into the water, but hands are tied to stopping the problem occurring upstream. How embarrassing it is to be living off the edge of one of the largest bodies of fresh water and to know we cannot drink it without harsh cleaners first. Our predecessors settled here for the water. How could we let this happen? I also have visited and enjoyed Maumee Bay and cannot stand to see the water as turbid as it is. Your actions, past and present, determine whether we can proudly show off the features around us. In the northeast Ohio area, everyone I know makes fun of the quality of the Cuyahoga River (except those off the Mahoning.) It's time to step up. I have an action plan in place for my elderly parents in case the water is bad in Toledo again. I have one for myself should it ever happen in the northeast Ohio area. The economic impacts of that event could happen just as easily if not treated ahead of time. I also know that the city of Toledo water department is in need of repairs. Considering that local governments are attempting to step up, it's time for you to do your share.
Email Western Lake Erie has been subjected to increasing levels of phosphorus, directly related to the runoff from liquid manure applied to fields in the Maumee River watershed.The annual toxic algal blooms are not going away, despite so-called voluntary control measures. Phosphorus levels are increasing due to the proliferation of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), primarily in the state of Ohio. The number of non-permitted CAFOs is astonishing.
  Ohio EPA recently submitted a Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) to U.S. EPA. This document is highly deficient, and fails to address the root cause of Lake Erie algal blooms: liquid manure that is moving through the network of tiled fields, directly to the Maumee River.
  U.S. EPA needs to take control of this situation that is occurring in Ohio. Please reject the Ohio EPA TMDL, and put mandatory guidelines in place for CAFOs (with penalties for noncompliance). This is Lake Erie's best chance for clean water.
Email Thank you for the opportunity to provide input as a resident of the Great Lakes in Michigan. I have learned that a significant part of the problem associated with agricultural runoff is the use of manure from concentrated feedlot operations to fertilize fields within the Lake Erie watershed. The number of animal feedlot operations has increased, creating more manure than can be used locally. It is currently not cost-effective to transport the manure to areas far away from the watershed. If GLRI could prioritize helping to identify ways that the manure could be concentrated and transported out of the Lake Erie watershed to areas that can use it to enrich fields that really need it, then farmers would not need to dump it in fields that are simply close and convenient. Such action would work to stop a significant source of excess nutrients. Perhaps research could identify practices that could produce an additional economic incentive for feedlot operations to manage this waste in a sustainable way, creating a win-win situation for both farmers and the environment.
Email I will be moving to Cleveland this year from rural Ohio. The health of Lake Erie is very important to me because it will effect the health of Cleveland for future generations. It is a beautiful resource that must be protected at all costs. In addition I believe that the lake has a cooling effect on the city and with climate change this is of utmost importance. Thank you!
Email Reducing and eliminating the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) that pollute the Maumee River and other watercourses must also be a priority. These facilities combined dump sewage equivalent to a city the size of Toledo every day. They are most responsible for the annual green algae bloom in Lake Erie.
Email I have been concerned with dangerous beach conditions in the area around Cleveland. Many times I have not gone to the beach due to high bacteria counts.
  I am even more concerned about the Maumee River and the factory farming producing the algae blooms.
Email I like many others have grown up around the shores of Lake Erie and spent many summers swimming in its waters. The health and cleanliness of this lake is very important to me, not only from a residential standpoint but an ecological one, too. The western shores of Lake Erie are not safe to swim in, the water glows when it's overcast (and I'm at least 90% sure water is not supposed to do that), and the smell of death and rot permeates the air around the lake for miles. Something needs to be done to get the algae and pollution under control, because not being able to see the sand in 1-inch-deep water is not acceptable. We drink this! (Processed, of course, but look at the lake and tell me you legitimately want to drink that. I know I don't!)
  Finally, I recommend the plan be improved beyond what has been proposed in previous Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plans to address water pollution, including the careful monitoring and enforcement of nutrient reduction efforts, as well as addressing PFAS contaminants in our waterways.
  I would like to see this lake run clear in my lifetime. Please help make that possible!
Email We would like to submit the following comments related to land protection, restoration and habitat connectivity for consideration in the Great Lakes Action Plan IV.
  Focus Area 2 Invasive species
  2.2 It's great to focus on preventing new invasives, but it's important to note that there are still a great deal of existing invasive/non-native species that are having a large impact. So perhaps an analysis of which invasives are causing the most damage and continued focus on removing those as well.
  2.3 Most recent efforts seem heavily aquatic based. While the shoreline and aquatic species are given great focus, more attention needs to be given to riparian areas upstream, all the way into the headwaters, identifying all invasive species that travel along aquatic pathways. The species won't be eradicated by only treating the shoreline.
  2.2, 2.3 Hemlock wooly adelgid identification and treatment across the watershed is critical. The loss of our hemlock forests (including those in the headwaters) would be devastating to water quality and habitat especially with our watershed's highly erodible soils.
  Focus Area 4 Habitats and Species
  4.1 Protect and restore communities of native aquatic and terrestrial species important to the Great Lakes.
  4.1.1 Acres of coastal wetland, nearshore and other habitats restored, protected or enhanced.
  WNYLC would like to continue to protect and restore habitat that supports important GL species and protect, restore, enhance and provide connectivity for these habitats. Efforts such as these have been underway under projects such as our Niagara Gorge restoration project, our work in the Niagara River Greenway conserving important forests, our Riverline projects in the city of Buffalo and our Western New York Wildway landscape-scale conservation project that puts special emphasis on connectivity and habitat.
  We'd like to emphasize the importance of land protection throughout the entire watershed. While we're happy to do nearshore projects, water quality does not begin or end at the shoreline. If you aren't equally focused upstream and on headwaters, you're allowing degradation of the habitat to the point of discharge and are going to struggle to have a flourishing, functioning ecosystem at the shoreline.
  4.1.2 Miles of connectivity established for aquatic species
  A second phase of our WNY Wildway project is looking at barriers to wildlife movement, both aquatic and terrestrial, and considering where to increase the size of culverts or passages under or over major roadways to decrease high mortality rates of wildlife road crossings. This could potentially overlap with the migration patterns of particular species and could also fall under Objective 4.2 depending on the nature of the project. Here we'd suggest mapping where aquatic species are hitting barriers to movement and would potentially work with partners such as Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper.