DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says more than $2.6 million in grants are being awarded to help improve water quality at Great Lakes beaches in Michigan and Wisconsin.

The agency on Tuesday announced details of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funding. The aim is to eliminate harmful bacteria and other sources of beach contamination.

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The funding includes $500,000 to the city of Marysville, for Chrysler Beach on the St. Clair River; and $500,000 to the agency that runs Lake St. Clair Metropark near Mount Clemens. Other grants in Michigan include about $263,000 for New Buffalo City Beach, $217,000 for Sault Ste. Marie beaches and $180,000 for Marquette beaches.

The funding also includes $1 million for University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh to redesign eight Wisconsin beaches to reduce bacteria levels.

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Over the last three years, GLRI has provided more than $29 million for 78 projects to protect and restore Great Lakes beaches. This funding has paid for sanitary surveys at 400 beaches, allowing beach managers to identify contamination sources and to implement projects that reduce or eliminate pollution.

The GLRI has also funded eight projects to better forecast beach conditions and to develop technologies, such as Smartphone apps to issue real-time alerts about swimming bans and beach closures.

Find more information on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at

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