The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay picked up three grants that total $2.2 million to install improved runoff filtration systems in Suttons Bay and Traverse City, and to manage Boardman River sediment amid the removal of two dams.

Funding comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. More than 95 percent of this funding will be invested in on-the-ground projects in local communities.

The Suttons Bay project involves working with the Village of Suttons Bay to install three runoff drain systems using green infrastructure techniques, Watershed officials said.

New drain systems will eliminate bacteria sources originating from storm drains at Suttons Bay’s two swimming beaches. This project will also be integrated with other planned park, TART trail and road improvements in Suttons Bay.

The Traverse City project involves working with city officials to install a runoff filtering system at East Bay Park to reduce bacterial contamination at the beach.

The Boardman Dams project will manage sediment to protect aquatic habitat during removal of Brown Bridge and Sabin dams.

Grant awards for each project total: $987,000 for the Suttons Bay project, $768,000 for the Traverse City project and $533,000 for the Boardman Dams project. Engineering work for the projects will begin this fall with construction beginning next spring.

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