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United States : TO BOOST water quality, City gets allowance by EPA.

To attempt to improve water quality along the shoreline in the city's north, the city of Marquette will receive a grant worth nearly $180,000.

The city applied for the grant in conjunction with the Superior Watershed Partnership, the money will be used, in part, to create 1,000 feet of green infrastructure along a ditch that drains storm water into Lake Superior, said by SWP Executive Director Carl Lindquist.

Lindquist said, the levels routinely test higher following heavy rain events, which increase storm water runoff.

He also said, "It's a direct connection," "That plus the record warm temperatures of Lake Superior are two main factors. There are dozens of other factors ... that can influence it. But without a doubt, storm water runoff is the main concern." And the work will include a "combination of practices, including engineering and native plant restoration, thus, it will result in a restored channel of native plants that will filter the storm water before it enters the lake.

According to Goodman said, "What we found out is that if we go out and sample it (following a rain), we will definitely get beach closure E. coli counts," "However, we did two-hour intervals and we found out that after two to three hours, the dilution was enough to keep those levels down. But we know the pollutants are still there."

According to Goodman s results, in the first phase, Marquette received funding to increase the scope of the city's water quality monitoring program, and the grant represents the second phase of the GLRI grant program.

He also stated that, "The purpose of this round of the GLRI is they wanted projects that do something," "We've done a lot of monitoring and the EPA really wanted something done."

Since 2000, Marquette has received about $5,000 annually for that beach testing; The GLRI grants and testing program are unrelated to a separate Michigan Department of Environmental Quality grant allowing Marquette to regularly test E. coli levels on city's beaches.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Sep 3, 2012
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