News Story

Olympic Pool Holds 12 Times Annual Road Runoff Saved By $475K Great Lakes Grant

Total Great Lakes Restoration Initiative spending at $300 million a year

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) spent $474,916 to prevent rainwater that lands on a Detroit highway from getting into Lake Erie.

The GLRI estimates the project will prevent 51,187 gallons of rainwater runoff each year from reaching Lake Erie. By comparison, an Olympic-sized swimming pool holds 660,253 gallons, 12 times more water than the project will collect. Lake Erie contains 127.6 trillion gallons of water — 127,600,000,000,000 – which comes to 2.49 billion gallons of lake water for every gallon of rainwater prevented from reaching the lake.

The project was completed in September, according to the GLRI’s description of the grant.

A nonprofit called Greening of Detroit received the $474,916 grant for roadway rainwater collection. The organization’s last financial filing with the federal government was in 2016, when it listed Rebecca Salminen Witt as the president, with a salary of $137,396.

Greening of Detroit didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

Congress has appropriated $300 million for GLRI in 2020, and it has authorized the same for 2021.