MSU Center for Water Sciences


Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

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Our Projects

About the GLRI

MSU GLRI Projects

Important links


Our Projects

CWS is working with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on three GLRI projects. All seek to promote and protect water quality at recreational beaches and nearshore habitats.

Building Beach Managers' Capacity for Using Rapid Tools

MSU PIs: Erin Dreelin, Asli Aslan, Irene Xagoraraki

MDEQ: Shannon Briggs

Rapid quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) methods are ready for use to provide timely information to protect recreational-water users from waterborne pathogens. However, local health departments and beach managers currently lack the equipment and training to implement these new rapid tools. This project aims to bring rapid tools to public health laboratories for beach monitoring through a training and technical assistance program with a strong emphasis on quality assurance/quality control and standardized data interpretation. This project will also produce a training video and a “How to” Manual for qPCR methods for monitoring fecal pollution of beaches to be used nationwide in future applications.

View the qPCR training videos here

Dr. Asli Aslan provided the technical expertise to develop this training video guiding people through the qPCR method. Dr. Amol Pavangadkar produced and directed the video with his team in Communication Arts & Sciences.


Healthier Great Lakes Beaches through Improved Communication

MSU PIs: Dave Poulson, Erin Dreelin, Asli Aslan, Joan Rose

MDEQ: Shannon Briggs

This three-pronged project will improve communication of beach monitoring to the public. First, videos will be produced demonstrating qPCR beach monitoring methods for laboratory technicians and outlining the basic function and importance of the test to a general audience. Second, workshops and online materials will improve communication between journalists and beach managers, leading to better communication of nearshore health issues to the public. Finally, a nonprofit environmental news service will dedicate sustained and in-depth coverage to exploring trends in nearshore health, causes and consequences. The net effect will be smoother flow of better information to the public.

See the nearshore coverage on Great Lakes Echo


Integrated Beach Sanitary Surveys Using qPCR Tools

MSU PIs: Joan Rose, Irene Xagoraraki, Joanna Pope, Erin Dreelin

MDEQ: Shannon Briggs

Information using molecular tools will be integrated into Michigan beach sanitary surveys along with investigation of the transport of target DNA signals for multiple Great Lakes beaches.  These data will be collected with the help of County Health Departments.  This research will compare the performance of the molecular methods with conventional tests, to produce an approach/protocol to use these assays and/or target organisms in routine and annual sanitary surveys, and will aid in current surveys to identify sources of microbial contamination influencing recreational water quality.


About the GLRI

The President's 2010 Budget provided $475 million in EPA's budget for a new Environmental Protection Agency-led, interagency Great Lakes restoration initiative. EPA released the first Request for Proposals (RFP) on November 23, 2010. Congress has continued to fund the program, although at reduced levels for 2011 and 2012. EPA's GLRI program, in conjunction with other funding opportunities under the Initiative, have been used to competitively provide funding to address the most significant Great Lakes ecosystem problems and efforts in five major focus areas:

  1. Toxic Substances and Areas of Concern
  2. Invasive Species
  3. Nearshore Health and Nonpoint Source Pollution
  4. Habitat and Wildlife Protection and Restoration
  5. Accountability, Education, Monitoring, Evaluation, Communication and Partnerships


MSU GLRI Projects

GLRI 2012

MSU continues to successfully compete for GLRI funding. The latest MSU GLRI grants focus on aquatic invasive species.

MSU to use EPA grant to fight invasive water species

U.S. Senator Carl Levin Visits MSU Researchers Involved with Great Lakes Restoration Initiative


GLRI 2011

In February 2011, EPA expects to release a competitive announcement (Request For Applications, or "RFA)") requesting the submission of grant applications for approximately $40 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding. The amount of funding for the RFA is contingent on the availability of appropriations. Full applications will be due approximately 45 days after release of the announcement. Please note that at this time EPA does not expect to issue any other GLRI funding announcements in Fiscal Year 2011.

For more information about GLRI 2011 funding, please see the EPA GLRI 2011 website.


GLRI 2010

The Office of the VPRGS facilitated 2010 submissions of grant proposals to the EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative with the goal of making MSU proposals as competitive as possible.  CWS compiled an on-line list of proposals to enable researchers to make contacts with others at MSU and elsewhere who may be proposing complementary research. 

The compiled list is posted below. EPA received 1,057 proposals under the 2010 RFP. Click here for information on proposals submitted to EPA for the 2010 call for proposals (note: you will exit to EPA's GLRI site)

MSU GLRI Proposals (.xls file updated 1/29/10)

MSU was awarded more than $3 million from the GLRI program in 2010. Learn more>>


Important Links

EPA GLRI Funding Opportunity and Related Information

EPA GLRI Request for Proposals

EPA's GLRI website

EPA webinar on the GLRI RFP

EPA Answers to Questions about the GLRI

Proposals Received by EPA


Michigan Department of Environmental Quality GLRI Information

MDEQ's GLRI site

Michigan’s Strategic Framework for the 2010 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (pdf)


Other GLRI Funding opportunities

USFWS Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership

USFWS Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act Funding



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