Stabenow, Peters Announce $765,000 for Detroit River and Rouge River Habitat Restoration

Friday, August 21, 2015

Michigan's U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, both members of the Great Lakes Task Force, today announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is awarding $765,605 to fund habitat restoration projects for the Detroit River and Rouge River Areas of Concern (AOC).

"Our lakes and waterways are part of who we are and our way of life," said Senator Stabenow. "These investments will help protect and restore critical fish and wildlife habitats and make sure our waters remain clean and healthy for generations to come."

"Michigan's economic strength depends on the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem, including our multi-billion dollar fishing, boating and outdoor recreation industries," said Senator Peters. "This funding will invest in critical habitat restoration projects in the Detroit River and Rouge River, helping fish and wildlife thrive in Southeast Michigan's waterways."

Friends of the Detroit River will receive $415,605 for habitat restoration at the Detroit River AOC at Stony Island, a major step in completing habitat reconstruction among the islands in the lower part of the Detroit River that serve as one of the most important spawning areas for western Lake Erie. This funding will protect and create 50 acres of backwater habitat, resulting in more acreage of habitat restoration in the Detroit River than any previous restoration effort in the past.

The Alliance of Rouge Communities will receive $350,000 for designing a fish passage around the Henry Ford Estate Dam in the Rouge River AOC. Once completed, this would help restore the Rouge River ecosystem and positively impact 50 main and 108 tributary river miles for fish migration to the Great Lakes system for the first time in over a century.

The U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement designates AOCs as sites with the worst legacies of toxic contamination and environmental degradation in the Great Lakes ecosystem in order to focus federal cleanup efforts. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency currently lists 11 different AOCs in the State of Michigan. Two AOCs at Deer Lake and White Lake were delisted in 2014 after successful efforts to remediate and restore these ecosystems.