Efforts to restore the health of Puget Sound have gotten another big boost from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with the announcement of nearly $13 million in grants – specifically to bolster Puget Sound science.
Recipients of all the grants have not yet been made public. U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, will join EPA officials Wednesday in University Place for the formal announcement.
Insiders said about $4 million of the money will go to the collaborative research institute formed by the University of Washington Tacoma and the Puget Sound Partnership, located at Tacoma’s Center for Urban Waters.
The state Department of Health also is among the apparent winners, with a grant for studies in Cormorant Passage in South Puget Sound.
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According to the EPA, the grant will pay for a shellfish survey and a pollution evaluation designed to identify beaches that potentially could be opened for shellfish harvest.
Cormorant Passage is between the mainland and Ketron Island, southwest of Steilacoom.
The latest round of federal grant awards follows the July 6 announcement of $30 million in EPA grants for Puget Sound .
That grant money is helping to pay for 36 Puget Sound restoration and protection projects, from Bellingham to Olympia.