2008 Fall Project Grants

2008 Fall Project Grants

People In Need of Environmental Safety

Amount:  $3500

Project Title: PINES Citizen Empowerment Project Phase III

Project Description: PINES is a small community, which has a coal combustion waste landfill. Their town borders a national park, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. A contaminated groundwater plume is spreading from the landfill, through the Town of Pines and into the National Lakeshore. The EPA has deemed this area to be an Alternative Superfund site and ordered the responsible parties to conduct a Remedial Investigation. In order to ensure a thorough Remedial Investigation and a comprehensive remediation, PINES hired an independent hydrogeologist to point out errors and omissions in the Remedial Investigation to the EPA. Funds will be used for soil and water tests and hydrological and geological technical assistance and expert representation.

 

Western Lake Erie Association

Amount:  $2500

Project Title: Reducing Fish Kills in Power Plant Intakes

Project Description: Western Lake Erie, especially the Maumee watershed, has the Great Lakes’ ‘fishiest,’ shallowest and warmest waters. The First Energy/Bayshore power plant intake appears to be the Great Lakes biggest fish killer. 2005/2006 company studies (released in 2008) show, in some months, the whole Maumee River is drawn through the plant. Also, a daily average of 126,000 fish are caught against the screens (impingement) and 6 million fish (entrainment) are pulled through the screens. Funds will be used to educate and gather support from interested fish groups to reduce the fish kills and hire a consultant that would evaluate the permit for the public comment period expected in 3-6 months.

 

Protect JKP

Amount:  $2500

Project Title: Protect from private development and litigae National Environmental Policy Act violations

Project Description: On July 25, 2008, the National Park Service approved a conversion of Jean Klock Park acreage for three holes of a privately-owned golf course in the dunes and wetlands. The developer will enjoy quiet title to 22.11 acres of the 91-year-old park for up to 105 years. In August, a federal lawsuit was filed against the National Park Service, State of Michigan and City of Benton Harbor for failure to enforce NEPA and L and WCFA regulations. If constructed, the golf course, new access roads and parking lots will result in irreparable damage to the dunes and wetlands, the trees, plants and animals that include threatened species. Funds will be used for legal fees.

 

 

Save Lake Superior Association

Amount:  $3000

Project Title: Protecting Minnesota’s Waters from Metallic Sulfide Mining

Project Description: Volunteer groups and citizens have organized to respond to proposals for the first metallic sulfide mine in Minnesota. The environmental impact statement (EIS) for the first mine is expected by the end of 2008, with other proposals to follow. A coalition of organizations is working to monitor the process, educate citizens, ensure rigorous environmental review and safeguard surface and groundwater from acid mine drainage. Funding will be used to support grassroots outreach, and to support volunteer activists with technical expertise to enable full participation in the public comment periods and hearings on the EIS and permits that are expected in the coming year.

 

Religious Coalition for the Great Lakes

Amount:  $2700

Project Title: RCGL Education and Advocacy Training

Project Description: RCGL is comprised of representatives of 20 congregations of Catholic sisters with over 9000 members in each of the eight Great Lakes states. Funding would provide for a face-to-face meeting in order to improve our understanding of the various legislative efforts that address the many issues facing the lakes and their ecosystems. The one and a half day gathering would include sharing of the ways in which we each mobilize the sisters and associates in our respective congregations, as well as an educational component during which an “expert(s)” from an environmental organization(s) would give input on water issues.

 

Norwood Township Citizens for Health and Safety

Amount:  $2500

Project Title: Protect Norwood Township Resources: Wetlands, Parks, Whiskey Creek and Zoning

Project Description: In 2005, Norwood’s township supervisor applied for a permit to operate a limestone quarry on his property zoned agricultural/rural residential, bordered by a state park, a conservation easement, and crossed by a creek that flows to Lake Michigan. When questions were raised about the abuse of zoning, he withdrew the application and operated without regulation. Citizens formed a non-profit organization, sued, and the Circuit Court stopped the mining operation. In 2007, he applied for a special use permit, which the citizen’s group again voided through Circuit Court Action. A permit on the same application was granted again in 2008. Funds will be used for legal and court expenses and to hire environmental consultants.

 

Junior Pennsylvania Lake Erie Watershed Association

Amount:  $1876.54

Project Title: Youth taking Action – Spreading the Word

Project Description: The teens comprising JrPLEWA have created a very effective and beautiful rain garden in partnership with the City. Funds will be used to send ten JrPLEWA members and two facilitators to the 2009 National River Rally to share their experiences in designing and implementing creative low impact stormwater retention projects, and conducting both their cigarette butt and “bottled up” campaigns. They will explain how youth organizations engage and empower youth to be active stewards, with the goal of inspiring other groups to do likewise.

 

Highway J Citizens Group, U.A.

Amount:  $2500

Project Title: Grassroots Initiative to Stop an Environmentally-Destructive Road Expansion Project in Wisconsin

Project Description: Since 1999, the Highway J Citizens Group, U.A. has been conducting a well-organized, grassroots initiative to stop the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s (WisDOT) Highway 164 four-lane expansion project in both Washington and Waukesha counties. They continue to pursue a major federal lawsuit, which, if successful, will protect precious wetland areas, primary environmental corridors, and river crossings and nearby lakes where several endangered and threatened animal and plant species live. Funds will be used for attorney fees and technical consultants.

 

Grosse Ile Nature and Land Conservancy

Amount:  $1500

Project Title: Remediation of the Intrepid Detention Pond on the Grosse Ile Commerce Park Grounds

Project Description: The Intrepid Detention Pond is located on one of the main drainage areas for the southeast quadrant of Grosse Ile. The pond is being invaded by phragmites and Eurasian milfoil that threaten to block the drainage and cause serious flooding in the upstream residential areas. Funds will be used for educational outreach and management of Eurasian milfoil.

 

Door County Environmental Council, Inc.

Amount:  $1000

Project Title: “Promotion of Engineered/Created Wetland Wastewater System for Homeowners”

Project Description: Door County is an area unique in that the topsoil is limited in most parts of the county, which is often less than the amount required for conventional septic systems. The documented failed septic system rate for Door County is at 70%, which means that considerable nutrients are being discharged into Lake Michigan and the Bay. The current alternative is mound construction, which does little to reduce the nutrient discharge. Funds will be used to plan, with experts, and produce a manual, video and PowerPoint presentation to show the benefits and construction details of wetland systems for homeowners, along with conducting information meetings for officials and homeowners.

 

Citizens Concerned for Michipicoten Bay

Amount:  $2500

Project Title: Long-term cumulative impacts of quarry on Lake Superior

Project Description: Citizens Concerned for Michipicoten Bay are seriously concerned about a proposed open pit quarry on the shore of Lake Superior and the long-term cumulative impacts of operating a quarry for at least 50+ years. The impacts have not been considered in the operating plan for the proposed quarry or in municipal zoning and planning. Funds will be used to pay for travel expense to an Ontario Municipal Board Hearing and to hire a professional planning consultant to gather and present information showing the need to consider the long-term environmental impacts (for example, on water quality, aquatic habitat), economic impacts and social impacts.

 

Blue Eco Legal Council

Amount:  $2000

Project Title: Appeal of Adverse Citizen Suit Decision in Federal Court

Project Description: Our group filed an environmental citizen suit against the Coast Guard and FBI for the systematic discharge of lead bullets into the Great Lakes in violation of the CWA, RCRA, and public nuisance laws.

 

Two River Coalition

Amount:  $1500

Project Title: Two Rivers Coalition Initialization Project

Project Description: The purpose of this project is to transition the existing Black River and Paw Paw River watershed projects from separate, grant funded efforts into a combined organization that is self-supporting, has a dedicated volunteer core and has an established plan

 

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