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EGLE announces funding to protect against high water damage

$14.25M grant program accepting Request for Proposal applications through Nov. 30

Michigan’s 2023 High Water Infrastructure Grant Program is accepting Requests for Proposal applications through Nov. 30, 2022, for a one-time release of up to $14.25 million in infrastructure and planning grants to mitigate effects of severe weather events. The program focuses on local and regional projects that address flooding, coastline erosion, urban heat, and storm water management.

High water levels and resulting coastal erosion can cause significant property damage. In response to record high Great Lakes levels in 2019-20, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) temporarily expedited the shoreline protection permit process for homes or structures at risk of damage. EGLE approved more than 2,200 shoreline protection permits from October 2019 through September 2020 – three times as many as in the previous year and nearly 10 times as many as in Fiscal Year 2014. Although water levels have since receded, eligible applicants are encouraged to plan for the next high water cycle – made more unpredictable by the effects of climate change on Great Lakes precipitation and temperatures.

The Legislature appropriated funding for the High Water Infrastructure Grant Program under Section 1006 of Public Act 87 of 2021. Local and regional units or councils of government, and public or nonprofit organizations with sponsorship from local units of government, are eligible to apply. Funding is available statewide and restricted to infrastructure and planning projects that directly address impacts and vulnerabilities presented by Great Lakes high water and severe weather events. Eligible activities will be project-specific and determined case by case.  

More information and application forms are available on the Michigan Coastal Management Program website. Ronda Wuycheck, Michigan Coastal Management Program manager, at 517-420-5921 or WuycheckR@michigan.gov; or Emily Kirkpatrick, Michigan Coastal Management Program coastal hazards coordinator, at 517-290-5476 or KirkpatrickE@michigan.gov, can address questions about the program.