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Protecting our Great Lakes

The Great Lakes and Michigan’s water resources are a vital part of Michigan’s identity and are critical to our economy including tourism, agriculture, manufacturing and commercial shipping. They contain one-fifth of the world’s fresh water, and supply safe drinking water to thirty-three million people.  Senator Stabenow is committed to protecting this critical economic asset.  The following is a summary of the major federally funded programs that protect our Great Lakes and waterways.

  • Aquatic Invasive Species Programs
  • Habitat and Species Programs
  • Coastal Health and Water Quality Programs
  • Toxic Remediation/Sediments Programs
  • Land Management/Non–Point Source Pollution/Agricultural Related Activities Programs
  • Pollutants Programs
  • Education and Mapping Programs

Aquatic Invasive Species Programs

Sea Lamprey Management Program

  • This program is conducted through the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and was established to manage sea lamprey abundance in the Great Lakes, and promote the restoration of the Great Lakes fishery. Eligible entities include universities, state agencies, and research agents. You can visit the Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service website for more information on this program here. (Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service)

Phragmites Control Demonstration Program

  • This program was formed to implement a Phragmites control demonstration project along selected reaches of Phragmites-infested public and private owned shorelines to address the rapid spread of Phragmites in Saginaw Bay, and to better communicate effective treatment methods and regulatory requirements to the public. This program is administered by the Department of Environmental Quality and you can learn more about the program here. (Department of Environmental Quality)

Habitat and Species Programs

Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program

  • This program encourages the development and implementation of proposals for restoring fish and wildlife resources in the Great Lakes Basin.  The program also encourages cooperative conservation, restoration, and management of fish and wildlife and their habitats. Eligible entities include states, tribes, non-governmental and conservation organizations. The Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service has more information on this program here. (Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service)

Great Lakes Lake Sturgeon Rehabilitation Program

  • This program allocates funds to conserve, rehabilitate, and reestablish self-sustaining populations of lake sturgeon to levels that permit delisting from the state and federal endangered species list. Eligible entities include any interested person or organization proposing a cooperative undertaking.  (Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service)

Lower Great Lakes Fisheries Research Office

  • This office coordinates and funds programs that conduct research on fisheries and ecosystems in the lower Great Lakes. Some examples of programs available are the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Reintroduction Program and the Lower Great Lakes Lake Trout Restoration Program. Eligible entities include state directors and tribes, in partnership with other interested parties. You can learn more about what they do here. (Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service)

Great Lakes Science Center Research Programs

  • The Center administers programs to collect scientific information for restoring, enhancing, managing, and protecting living resources and their habitats in the Great Lakes Basin. For more information, please visit their website. (Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey)

Wetlands Reserve Program

  • The Wetlands Reserve Program offers landowners financial support to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their property. This program offers landowners an opportunity to establish long-term conservation and wildlife practices and protection. Eligible entities include landowners, partnerships, associations, corporations, or other legal entities with eligible lands. You can learn more about this program here. (Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program

  • This program provides financial incentives to develop habitat for fish and wildlife on private lands. Participants, in coordination with the USDA, develop a wildlife habitat development plan and enter into cost-sharing assistance for the initial implementation of wildlife habitat development practices with the USDA for a minimum of 5 years. Eligible entities include landowners, landlords, operators, or tenants of eligible lands. For more information please visit the Department of Agriculture website. (Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Healthy Forest Reserve Program, Forest Service

  • This program protects forest ecosystems by preventing, detecting and suppressing damaging insects, diseases, and plants. It is available for federal lands and cooperative lands. Eligible entities include state forestry, state agriculture, tribal governments, public and private institutions, and profit and non-profit municipalities. To learn more about the Healthy Forest Program please visit this website. (Department of Agriculture, other Agencies)

Forest Land Enhancement Program, Forest Service

  • This program provides for technical, educational, and cost sharing assistance to promote long term sustainability of nonindustrial private forests. Eligible entities include state forestry or equivalent state agencies. The Department of Agriculture has more information here. (Department of Agriculture, other Agencies)

North America Wetland Conservation Act

  • This act provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects for the benefit of wetland associated migratory birds and other wildlife. You can learn more about this program at the Fish and Wildlife Service website. (Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Fish and Wildlife Management Assistance

  • This Act authorizes financial and technical assistance to the states for the development, revision, and implementation of conservation plans and programs for nongame fish and wildlife.  The program includes native fish conservation, fish and game on tribal lands, marine mammal management, and the fish passage program. Eligible entities include federal agencies, state agencies, local and tribal governments, non-profit organizations, or other public organizations. (Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service)

National Wetlands Inventory

  • The National Wetlands Inventory provides information on the characteristics, extent, and status of the nation’s wetlands and deepwater habitats, and other wildlife habitats.  You can learn more here. (Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service)

Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Program

  • This program provides assistance in restoring natural resources injured in oil spills or hazardous substance releases into the environment. Damage assessment is done through a partnership with affected states and tribal and federal trustee agencies in order to determine the restoration needs that address the public’s loss and use of these resources. Eligible entities include federal and state agencies, tribes, industry, and communities. More information can be found here. (Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service)

Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program

  • This voluntary partnership program helps private landowners restore wetlands and other important fish and wildlife habitats on their lands. Projects must be located on private lands. Eligible entities include tribal governments, local governments, education institutions, and non-profit organizations. More information can be found here.(Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service)

Anadromous Fish Conservation

  • This program authorizes the Secretaries’ of the Interior and Commerce to enter into cooperative agreements with states and other federal interests for up to 50% cost sharing, for conserving, enhancing, and developing anadromous fisheries. Eligible entities include any interested person or organization. All proposals must be coordinated with and submitted through the state fishery agency. (Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service)

Habitat Conservation

  • The program provides grants and cooperative agreements for biological, economical, sociological, and other research and public education projects to benefit coastal environments, especially fisheries.  Grants are provided to state and local governments, universities and colleges, tribal governments, and other research institutions both public and private. (Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Coastal Health and Water Quality Programs

Great Lakes National Program

  • Programs are available to protect, maintain, and restore the chemical, biological and physical integrity of the Great Lakes. The office also provides programs to monitor the Great Lakes ecosystem; manage and provide public access to Great Lakes data; help communities address contaminated sediments; support local protection and restoration of important habitats; and provide assistance for community-based Remedial Action Plans for Areas of Concern and for Lake Wide Management Plans. Eligible entities include state water pollution control agencies, private or non-profit organizations, and colleges and universities. Please visit this programs website here.(Environmental Protection Agency)

Great Lakes Monitoring Program

  • This program assesses the ecosystem health of the Great Lakes. Information is gathered to measure whole lake response to control measures using trend analysis and cause/effect relationship. Eligible entities include state water pollution control agencies, private or non-profit organizations, and colleges and universities. For more information please go here. (Environmental Protection Agency)

Great Lakes Environmental Research Grant Programs

  • Programs are conducted through the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. This lab conducts research and administers grant programs to conduct physical, chemical, and environmental modeling research on how to manage and protect ecosystems. Eligible entities are universities, non-profit organizations, and private entities. (Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration Program

  • The purpose of this program is to plan, design, and construct projects to restore Great Lakes Fisheries and their beneficial uses. Entities eligible for cost sharing for this program include private interests, non-profit entities, or states. (Department of the Army, Army Corps of Engineers)

Task Force on Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia

  • This Task Force provides Congress a scientific assessment of current knowledge about harmful hypoxia in freshwater. The task force also must submit to Congress a comprehensive and coordinated national research program to develop and demonstrate prevention, control and mitigation methods to reduce the harmful impact of hypoxia. Eligible entities include universities, non-profits, state, federal and tribal governments, federal agencies and commercial organizations. (Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resource System

  • This act appropriates $2 million through FY2010 for the conservation of coastal barriers along the Great Lakes coastlines.  For more information please visit this website. (Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Emergency Streambank and Shoreline Protection Program

  • This program provides emergency streambank and shoreline erosion protection to public infrastructure such as highways and bridges, or public facilities such as churches, hospitals, and schools. Projects have included contraction of soil retention walls and seawalls to address shoreline erosion. Eligible entities include state and local agencies with full authority and ability to undertake necessary legal and financial responsibilities. You can learn more here. (Department of the Army, Army Corps of Engineers)

Shore Protection Program

  • This program is available to promote shore protection projects and related research that encourage the protection, restoration, and enhancement of sandy beaches, including beach restoration and periodic beach nourishment. Eligible entities include state and local agencies with full authority and ability to undertake necessary legal and financial responsibilities.  (Department of the Army, Army Corps of Engineers)

Shore Damage Mitigation

  • The purpose of this program is to prevent or mitigate shoreline damage that is caused by federal navigation structures built by the Corps of Engineers. Non-federal entities are eligible, including private interests, non-profits, or states. You can visit their website here. (Department of the Army, Army Corps of Engineers)

Toxic Remediation/Sediments Programs

Great Lakes Legacy Act

  • This Act authorizes funding for projects that will remediate contaminated sediments in the Great Lakes. Funds are targeted towards Areas of Concern, research and education on contaminated sediments problems in the Great Lakes. For more information please go here. (Environmental Protection Agency)

Great Lakes Remedial Action Plans and Sediment Remediation Program

  • This programs was created to plan, design, and construct research demonstration projects of promising technologies for contaminated sediment remediation and to proved technical, planning and engineering assistance for the development and implementation of Remedial Action Plans for Great Lakes Areas of Concern. Eligible entities include state pollution control agencies, interstate agencies, and other public or non-profit private agencies, and institutions. (Department of the Army, Army Corps of Engineers)

Great Lakes Tributary Models Program

  • This program was created to develop computer models of sediment loading and transport in Great Lakes tributaries to support state and local conservation and pollution prevention activities. For more information please go here. (Department of the Army, Army Corps of Engineers)

Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration

  • Funds are available for projects aimed at restoring and protecting aquatic ecosystems. Examples of projects include sediment removal for lake restoration; removal of low-head dams; and streams, wetlands, riparian, and related upland restoration. The cost for design and implementation are shared between the federal government and a non federal sponsor. (Department of the Army, Army Corps of Engineers)

Environmental Dredging

  • The objective of this program is to remove contaminated sediments outside the boundaries of federal navigation channels and to enhance the water and environmental quality. (Department of the Army, Army Corps of Engineers)

Land Management/Non–Point Source Pollution/Agricultural Related Activities Programs

Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control

  • This program funds pollution prevention projects that improve Great Lakes water quality by promoting soil erosion and sediment control practices through information and education programs, grants, technical assistance, and coalition building. Eligible entities include state and local governments, academic institutions and non-profit organizations. (Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Agricultural Water Enhancement Program

  • This program provides financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to assist them in applying agricultural water enhancement activities that conserve ground and surface water and improve water quality on agricultural lands. You can learn more about this program here. (Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Conservation Innovation Grants Program

  • The CIG program is intended to stimulate the development and adoption of conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production. Grants are awarded to non-federal governmental or non-governmental organizations, tribes, or individuals. (Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

  • The programs mandate is to optimize environmental benefit by providing farmers with financial and technical assistance to plan and implement soil and water conservation practices. Eligible entities include land users, owners, community organizations, and state and local governments. More information is availible on this program here. (Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Wetlands Reserve Program

  • The Wetlands Reserve Program offers landowners financial support to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their property. This program offers landowners an opportunity to establish long-term conservation and wildlife practices and protection. Eligible entities include landowners, partnerships, associations, corporations, or other legal entities with eligible lands. (Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program

  • This program provides financial incentives to develop habitat for fish and wildlife on private lands. Participants, in coordination with the USDA, develop a wildlife habitat development plan and enter into cost-sharing assistance for the initial implementation of wildlife habitat development practices with the USDA for a minimum of 5 years. Eligible entities include landowners, landlords, operators, or tenants of eligible lands. (Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Farmland Protection Program

  • This program provides funds to help purchase development rights to keep productive farmland in agricultural uses. Eligible entities include state, tribal or local government in partnership with landowners. You can learn more about this program here.(Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Conservation Reserve Program

  • The Conservation Reserve Program provides annual rental payments to producers to replace crops on highly-erodible and environmentally sensitive land with long-term resource conserving plans. Eligible entities include an individual, partnership association, Indian Tribal Ventures Corporation, estate trust, legal entities and state agencies. Please visit their website for more information. (Department of Agriculture, Farm Services Administration)

Emergency Conservation Program

  • This program provides emergency funding for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by wind erosion, floods, hurricanes, or other natural disasters. This program also carries out emergency water conservation measures during periods of severe drought. Eligible entities include owners, landlords, tenants, or sharecroppers of agricultural or grazing lands who can bear the cost of an approved conservation practice in a disaster area. Learn more about the program here. (Department of Agriculture, Farm Services Administration)

Source Water Protection Program

  • This program is designed to help prevent source water pollution by encouraging producers to implement voluntary practices, including relocating waste lagoons and storing herbicides or pesticides. Eligible entities include farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers. Learn more at the Farm Service Agency website. (Department of Agriculture, Farm Services Administration)

Conservation of Private Grazing Land Program

  • This program provides funds for technical, educational and related assistance to private grazing land owners. This assistance can be used to improve grazing land management; protect soil from erosion; conserve water; provide habitat for wildlife; sustain forage and grazing plants, and use grazing lands as a source of biomass energy and raw materials for industrial products, among others. Eligible entities include all owners and managers of private grazing lands. Please visit the program's webpage for more information(Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Conservation Stewardship Program

  • This program provides financial and technical assistance to promote the conservation and improvement of soil, water, air, energy, plant and animal life on tribal and private working lands. Working lands include cropland, grassland, prairie land, pastures, and forested land that is an incidental part of an agricultural operation. Eligible entities include an individual producer, partnership, association, corporation, estate, trust, other business or other legal entities controlling eligible lands. (Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Conservation Operations - Technical Assistance Program

  • This program funds technical support to provide conservation planning and implementation assistance through field staff to producers who voluntarily apply natural resource conservation systems. Eligible entities include land users, owners, community organizations, and state and local governments.  (Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service)

National Cooperative Soil Survey

  • This program provides soil survey information necessary for managing and conserving soil resources in partnership with state agricultural experiment stations and state and local units of government. Eligible entities include landowners, partnerships corporations, estates, trusts and other legal entities. (Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Nonpoint Source Management Program

  • This program awards grants that promote the development and implementation of watershed-based plans, focusing on watersheds with water quality impairments caused by nonpoint sources.  Eligible entities include states, qualified tribes and intertribal consortia. This website has more infomation. (Environmental Protection Agency)

Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration

  • Funds are available for projects aimed at restoring and protecting aquatic ecosystems. Examples of projects include sediment removal for lake restoration; removal of low-head dams; and streams, wetlands, riparian, and related upland restoration. The cost for design and implementation are shared between the federal government and a non federal sponsor. (Department of the Army, Army Corps of Engineers)

Pollutants Programs

Great Lakes Tributary Models Program

  • This Program was created to develop computer models of sediment loading and transport in Great Lakes tributaries to support state and local conservation and pollution prevention activities. For more information please go here.(Department of the Army, Army Corps of Engineers)

Great Lakes Binational Toxics Strategy

  • This program’s objective is to reduce and eventually eliminate persistent toxic substances, especially those that bioaccumulate, in the Great Lakes by using pollution prevention methods. Research and cleanup are also available through this program. You can learn more here. (Environmental Protection Agency)

Great Lakes Human Health Effects Research Program

  • This program is a community-based research program that emphasizes public health education and intervention strategies aimed at preventing exposure to toxic chemicals and minimizing adverse health outcomes to citizens of the Great Lakes. (Department of Health and Human Services)

Great Waters Program

  • This program was established to conduct research and report requirements related to the deposition of hazardous air pollutants to the Great Lakes Waters. For more information, please go to the Envrionmental Protection Agency website. (Environmental Protection Agency)

Source Water Protection Program

  • This Program is designed to help prevent source water pollution by encouraging producers to implement voluntary practices, including relocating waste lagoons and storing herbicides or pesticides. Eligible entities include farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers. Learn more at the Farm Service Agency website. (Department of Agriculture, Farm Services Administration)

Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Program

  • This program provides assistance in restoring natural resources injured in oil spills or hazardous substance releases into the environment. Damage assessment is done by a partnership with affected states and tribal and federal trustee agencies in order to determine the restoration needs that address the public’s loss and use of these resources. Eligible entities include federal and state agencies, tribes, industry, and communities. More information can be found here. (Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service)

Integrated Atmospheric Deposition Network (IADN)

  • This program is designed to assess the ecosystem health of the Great Lakes through a series of air-monitoring stations. It provides information to measure the amounts of chemicals and toxic substances deposited in the Great Lakes through air deposition, with a focus of causal relationships. More information on the IADN can be found here. (Environmental Protection Agency)

Federal Education and Mapping Programs

Great Lakes Mapping Coalition

  • This program requires the Director of NOAA, in consultation with the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey, to submit to Congress a plan for preparing maps of the shoreline of the Great Lakes. You can learn more about this program at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality website. (Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Great Lakes Research and Education Center

  • This center was established as part of a network of research learning centers in order to promote research in National Parks and adjacent lands to improve natural resource management and educate the public about park research. You can visit their website here. (Department of the Interior, National Park Service)

Great Lakes Human Health Effects Research Program

  • This program is a community-based research program that emphasizes public health education and intervention strategies aimed at preventing exposure to toxic chemicals and minimizing adverse health outcomes to citizens of the Great Lakes. (Dept. of Health and Human Services)

Great Lakes Science Center Research Programs

  • The Center administers programs to collect scientific information for restoring, enhancing, managing, and protecting living resources and their habitats in the Great Lakes Basin. For more information, please visit their website. (Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey)

National Sea Grant College Program

  • This program increases the understanding, assessment, development, utilization, and conservation of the Nation’s coastal and Great Lakes resources. Funds are available to promote a strong educational base; responsive research and training activities; broad and prompt dissemination of knowledge and techniques; and multidisciplinary approaches to environmental problems. To learn more about this program, please visit their website. (Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

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