- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 6, 2014

GARY, Ind. (AP) - The federal government has awarded two northern Indiana cities $500,000 for projects to improve Lake Michigan’s water quality by filtering the runoff from city life.

Gary officials will use its $250,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to install systems such as water-filtering bioswales to reduce the amount of sediments and pollutants that flow into the lake. That effort will also be funded by more than $83,000 in city money and $168,000 from the Cleveland Botanical Garden.

The city of Hammond will combine its $250,000 EPA grant with $250,000 of its own money to build rain-collecting gardens and install permeable pavement at the city’s marina and a park.

Those projects will help prevent contaminated runoff from being discharged into Lake Michigan during major storms.

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