Apr 20, 2020

Michigan Village Receives Storm Water Infrastructure Grants

Elk Rapids, Michigan has received $400,000 in federal grants for green infrastructure

storm water

Elk Rapids, Michigan was awarded a $400,000 federal grant for green infrastructure projects.

The U.S. EPA approved the grant funds for projects including: a proposed infiltration trench; and to retrofit street bump-outs into rain gardens to capture and filter an annual 2.8 million gallons of storm water runoff.

The money comes as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative’s (GLRI) recent $9 million awards. The grant dollars come out of last year’s federal budget, according to the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

The funds will pay for an underground infiltration trench in order to capture more than 80% of storm water from a storm drain system, which is the largest storm drain in the Michigan village.

“The bulk of the cost is going to that underground infiltration trench,” said Sarah U’Ren, program director for the Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay.

A significant amount of storm water is generated by the roads, parking lots and rooftops on the western side of the village, contributing excessive sediment, nutrients, pathogens and toxins running into Grand Traverse Bay.

The trench design will be similar to what was installed in Northport, and in Traverse City at Bryant Park and on the Munson campus, reported the Traverse City Record-Eagle. The remaining of the grant money will pay to retrofit four existing paved bump-out areas along Dexter Street into rain gardens.

Multiple GLRI grants awarded this week are going toward projects specifically geared towards combat excess nutrients and improve water quality in the Great Lakes basin, according to Kurt Thiede, EPA’s Great Lakes National Program manager.

The grant will pay for nearly a half-dozen rain gardens or bioswales along River Street or at the village’s marina, according to the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Work on the trench and Dexter Street rain gardens are unlikely to occur until spring 2021. The plans for work on the planned River Street rain gardens and bioswale at the marina are still to begin this autumn, however.

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