Great Lakes rivers and streams provide habitat for a vast assemblage of fish, mollusks, insects and other wildlife. Many fish, like the imperiled redside dace and eastern sand darter, use tributaries for all stages of their life cycles; others, like coaster brook trout and lake sturgeon, may use them only as spawning and nursery habitat. In all cases, however, healthy tributaries are necessary to sustain populations of these and many other species. In addition, rivers and streams in the basin provide drinking water for millions of people, are conduits for nutrient transfer, and provide opportunities for economically important activities such as boating and angling.
Past and present land uses have degraded many of the rivers and streams in the basin by reducing base flows, increasing artificially high peak flows, altering water temperatures, enabling establishment of invasive species, accelerating bank erosion, smothering stream substrates with sediment and disrupting the downstream transport of large woody debris. In addition to having negative impacts on fish and wildlife populations, these changes have led to increased risks of property damage due to flooding and degradation of drinking water quality.
To address these issues, Sustain Our Great Lakes is supporting projects to restore stream and riparian habitat across the basin. Some of the work being funded includes control of invasive species, restoration of native vegetation, streambank stabilization, and placement of in-stream habitat structures.
On January 22, 2013, Sustain Our Great Lakes will host a webinar to explore aspects of stream restoration in the Great Lakes basin, including in-stream structures, natural channel design, project monitoring and evaluation, and associated funding opportunities. Drawing from stream restoration case studies, experts will share their experiences and lessons learned. The webinar is intended to be informative for restoration practitioners, potential grant applicants, other funders, and anyone with an interest in stream restoration. The webinar will begin at 10 AM Eastern Time/9 AM Central Time and last for approximately 2 hours. To register, please go to: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/850809488