Stabenow, Peters Applaud Support for Seven Michigan Projects to Protect, Restore Great Lakes Habitats

Thursday, August 06, 2015

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters today applauded the announcement that seven projects in Michigan will receive $2.3 million to restore coastal wetland habitats and protect water quality in the Great Lakes region. This funding, which is administered to the Sustain Our Great Lakes program by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, will be used to reduce sediment runoff, control invasive species, and protect and restore wetland habitats.

"The Great Lakes are part of who we are and our way of life," said Senator Stabenow, Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force. "This investment is critical to the health and preservation of our waterways and wildlife habitats and will help make sure our Lakes remain clean and healthy for generations to come."

"Restoring and enhancing the Great Lakes is a boost for Michigan's environment, helping to ensure we can protect this ecological treasure and economic engine for the next generation to enjoy," said Senator Peters, member of the Great Lakes Task Force. "This funding will support ongoing efforts to restore habitats and protect fish and wildlife in Michigan's waterways, underscoring the importance of public-private partnerships like Sustain Our Great Lakes that invest in improving the health of this critical ecosystem."

Sustain Our Great Lakes is a public-private partnership that supports habitat restoration throughout the Great Lakes region. Much of the program's funding comes through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is a multi-year plan to restore and preserve the Great Lakes by eliminating toxins, combating invasive species, restoring habitats, and promoting the general health of the Lakes. This funding is part of $5.7 million announced for 20 projects across the Great Lakes region.

Michigan will receive the following awards:

Conservation Resource Alliance will remove 23 passage barriers, stabilize 1,000 feet of stream bank, and install woody habitat structures along 2,400 feet of stream in four northern Michigan watersheds ($500,000)

Huron Pines will restore more than 350 acres of wetland and shoreline habitat by controlling invasive species, planting native buffers, and reconnecting upland and wetland habitat complexes ($115,000)

Huron Pines will replace five road-stream crossings, install in-stream habitat structures, and implement agricultural conservation practices in the Au Gres River Watershed ($235,000)

The Nature Conservancy will restore 65 acres of coastal wetlands as part of a larger effort to improve 946 acres of wetland habitat at Erie Marsh Preserve along western Lake Erie ($881,628)

The Mason-Lake Conservation District will restore a former log-roll site and replace three failing road-stream crossings along the Pere Marquette River and its tributaries to enhance and reconnect 14 stream miles ($424,888)

The Manistee County Government will remove the final passage barrier along Arquilla Creek to restore stream function, improve aquatic habitat, and reconnect three stream miles ($90,000)

The Oceana County Road Commission will replace a failing culvert to improve connectivity and reduce sediment inputs along the North Branch of the White River ($70,000)