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Grant money to reduce sediment into Racine harbor, lake

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RACINE COUNTY — The county will receive about $90,000 to help prevent sediment from building up in the Racine harbor and reaching Lake Michigan.

The grant, from the Fund for Lake Michigan, will fund riparian buffers throughout the Root River area, said Julie Anderson, the county’s director of public works and development services.

The vegetative buffers reduce sediment and silt into the Root River, which eventually carries sediment to the Racine harbor and Lake Michigan, according to a County Board resolution.

The board could take up the resolution to accept the grant during its meeting set for 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Ives Grove Office Complex, 14200 Washington Ave.

The money, to be allocated over three years, would assist the county’s land conservation office with installing 30 acres of riparian buffers. The Root River Watershed Restoration Plan has identified acres of critical areas of farmland in need of buffers, according to the resolution.

“It’s all to prevent erosion and to slow down the acceleration of erosion,” Anderson said. “There’s a lot of problem areas, and this is helpful in terms of the land conservation office helping homeowners.”

The Fund for Lake Michigan, established in 2011 by utilities including We Energies, pays for a variety of environmental projects throughout the lake region, including in Racine County. Earlier this year, the fund allocated $35,000 toward a study of structures in the Racine harbor.

Officials said in March that the fund has distributed more than 150 grants totaling about $12 million.

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