The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a $351,743 grant to the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) for green stormwater management improvements around the Marquette Park lagoon watershed in Gary, Ind.
The grant is part of the EPA's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and will be used to hire local residents from the City of Gary's Brownfields Job Training Program to install green stormwater management infrastructure in the Marquette Park Lagoon watershed. The RDA is partnering with the City of Gary and the Student Conservation Association to create a conservation corps to implement green stormwater best management practices in the lagoon.
The project will create jobs for unemployed residents in the area, reduce nutrient and sediment loading to the Marquette Park lagoons, and support Gary's green infrastructure stormwater initiative, which is focused on community engagement with stormwater management. The project is also part of Gary's "Vacant to Vibrant" initiative to repurpose lands using green infrastructure.
The EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades. It is focused on cleaning up toxics, combating invasive species, protecting watersheds from polluted run-off and restoring wetlands.
A team from FaegreBD Consulting, led by Daniel Hartinger and including Jonathan Dilley and David Gogol, helped identify the grant opportunity, recruit and engage project partners, develop the project, and draft the application. The FaegreBD Consulting team also helped the RDA to develop a strong relationship with the EPA to improve the region's environmental efforts through technical assistance and outreach.