Bizzarro: More than $264,000 in grants to protect and restore Lake Erie Coastal Zone, area natural resources

ERIE, Oct. 22 – State grants of more than $264,000 will fund projects to protect and restore the Lake Erie Coastal Zone and preserve other area resources, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced today.

The grants – from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection – will fund multiple projects related to bluff erosion, shorebird monitoring and research of geographic sources of E. coli contamination at Presque Isle State Park beaches, among other projects.

“Lake Erie and Presque Isle State Park are natural gems that provide unique recreational and tourism opportunities, but they’re also more than that,” Bizzarro said. They’re natural features that define our regional identity. That’s why it’s so important to protect them for future generations.

“That’s not a simple task – it involves monitoring and preserving delicate ecosystems, land structures and wildlife. In some cases, it also involves eliminating dangers, such as harmful bacteria that has at times restricted swimming at Presque Isle. The funding announced today will allow us to continue being good stewards of the lake while also addressing and overcoming these challenges.”

Bizzarro said the grant money will go to the following recipients for the following projects:

Erie County

  • $70,000 for coordination and technical assistance with Lake Erie Coastal Zone projects.
  • $9,000 to assist Lake Erie coastal communities in administering the Bluff Recession and Setback Act of 1980.

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

  • $15,000 to perform shorebird monitoring at Presque Isle State Park.

Erie County Conservation District

  • $2,250 to develop an Invasive Species Management Plan for Headwaters Park in Millcreek.
  • $3,273 for the Nature Immersion youth education program to emphasize good stewardship. 

Millcreek Township

  • $50,000 to develop the completed design for the stream restoration of Wilkins Run in Millcreek Township

Regional Science Consortium

  • $50,000 to research the geographical sources of E. coli contamination at Presque State Park beaches

Erie Times-News in Education

  • $50,000 for a recurring Newspaper in Education weekly page focusing on coastal zone environmental issues

Mercyhurst University

  • $15,000 to develop a bluff erosion model along Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie shoreline 

    Coastal zones are areas where land meets the coast and includes both coastal waters and adjacent shorelands and are under increasing pressure from development, erosion, biodiversity loss, and pollution.

Coastal Zone grants are awarded to projects related to fisheries, wetlands, stormwater management improvements, recreation, public education, coastal hazards such as bluff recession, and other areas. Grants may also be awarded to other projects in the watershed that have an impact on coastal waters.