Sustain Our Great Lakes Program Announces $8.5 Million in Grants for Great Lakes Restoration
Public–private partnership funds 30 projects enabling $16.2 million of on-the-ground impact in U.S. and Canada
TRENTON, Mich. – Members of the Great Lakes conservation community gathered at the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge today to announce 30 ecological restoration projects selected to receive a total of $8.5 million in grant funding through Sustain Our Great Lakes, a bi-national, public–private partnership. Program partners include the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.
“We have made great strides in protecting our Great Lakes, but we still have much to do. This funding from the Sustain Our Great Lakes program is an investment that will continue the progress that we have made so far, and will ensure this natural resource is available for future generations to enjoy,” said Representative John Dingell (D-Michigan).
With a focus on improving the quality and connectivity of tributary, wetland and coastal habitats, the 30 selected projects will help protect, restore and enhance the ecological integrity of the Great Lakes and surrounding region. Some of the work to be supported with grant funding includes improving passage for fish and other aquatic organisms, controlling invasive species, restoring wetland hydrology, and improving stream habitat structure.
“The ecological restoration supported by these grants will help generate important benefits for both people and wildlife,” said Jeff Trandahl, Executive Director and CEO of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. “Thanks to the collaboration and support of all of our program partners, this work will result in a cleaner environment, more robust fish and wildlife populations, and better quality of life within the Great Lakes basin.”
The announcement also marked the release of a progress report that summarizes the outcomes of the first five years of the Sustain Our Great Lakes program. From 2006 to 2010, the program awarded 103 grants worth $12.1 million and provided support for the restoration of:
· Aquatic connectivity to 475 stream miles
· 55 miles of stream and riparian habitat
· 6,740 acres of wetland habitat
· 1,605 acres of coastal habitat
“Projects supported by Sustain Our Great Lakes become increasingly important as water availability and quality receive more global attention. The restoration and conservation of the Great Lakes is critical for both environmental and economic reasons as hundreds of communities rely on the water and natural areas within the basin. Through our support, ArcelorMittal aims to partner with the federal agencies and program grantees to address the issues facing the basin,” said Heather Loebner, Executive Director, USA Foundation, and Manager, Corporate Responsibility, ArcelorMittal.
The Sustain Our Great Lakes program is a public–private partnership coordinated by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and funded by ArcelorMittal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S.D.A Forest Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In 2011, Sustain Our Great Lakes received significant additional grant funding through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a federal program designed to protect, restore and enhance the Great Lakes ecosystem.
The 2011 grants include:
· Alliance for the Great Lakes and partners will control invasive species and plant native vegetation to improve 28 acres of terrestrial and aquatic habitat associated with unique ravine systems along the length of Lake Michigan in northeastern Illinois. ($150,000)
· The Field Museum of Natural History and partners will enhance 85 acres of marsh and dune and swale habitat at Eggers Grove along the southern rim of Lake Michigan through prescribed burning, invasive species control and native seeding. ($56,350)
· Friends of the Forest Preserves and partners will conduct prescribed burns and invasive species control to restore 605 wetland acres and 100 associated upland acres of lakeplain habitat at nine sites in the Calumet region of Illinois and Indiana. ($500,000)
· Blue Heron Ministries and many conservation partners will establish a roving field crew that will control invasive species to improve at least 641 acres of habitat in portions of northern Indiana and southern Michigan. ($200,000)
· Shirley Heinze Land Trust and partners will control invasive species, plant native vegetation, and remove abandoned home structures to improve habitat quality on 60 acres of boreal flatwoods habitat at the Ambler Flatwoods Nature Preserve in northwestern Indiana. ($34,900)
· Conservation Resource Alliance and partners will remove two barriers during the first construction phase of a project that will restore aquatic connectivity and fish passage to 160 miles of the Boardman River, 20 miles of river habitat, and 253 acres of riparian wetlands. ($1,000,000)
· Downriver Community Conference, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other partners will restore and enhance 91 acres and 2.5 miles of coastal, wetland and upland habitat at the Refuge Gateway and the Humbug Marsh unit of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. ($500,000)
· Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will install water control structures to restore the quality and aquatic connectivity of 940 contiguous acres of emergent wetlands adjacent to the Shiawassee River at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. ($1,500,000)
· Huron Pines Resource Conservation and Development Council and partners will replace 10 problematic road/stream crossings in the Thunder Bay River watershed to restore 124 miles of fish passage and reduce sediment loading to the river by 113 tons per year. ($420,000)
· Huron Pines Resource Conservation and Development Council and partners will replace three poorly performing road/stream crossings and install in-stream woody debris to restore 14 miles of fish passage, reduce sediment loading, and improve 10,000 feet of Blue Ribbon Trout stream. ($112,000)
· Lake Superior State University and partners will conduct surveys, monitoring, nest protection, captive rearing and invasive species control to improve reproductive success and nesting habitat for the endangered Great Lakes piping plover. ($150,000)
· Muskegon River Watershed Assembly and partners will stabilize banks and re-establish native tree canopy and understory to improve almost 7,900 feet of coldwater trout stream and 11 acres of riparian buffer along Cedar Creek. ($28,400)
· Regents of the University of Michigan and partners will enhance 200 acres of floodplain, fen and adjacent uplands along Fleming Creek in southeastern Michigan to improve habitat for massasauga and other rare plants and wildlife. ($74,213)
· Stewardship Network and a network of partners will control invasive species on 148 acres within the River Raisin and Shiawassee River headwaters in southeastern Michigan to improve habitat for many species of conservation concern. ($124,840)
· The Nature Conservancy and partners will restore the quality of coastal dunes and wetlands along the 505-mile shoreline of eastern Lake Michigan through early detection and control of 14 invasive plant species. ($1,020,432)
· Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council and partners will remove garlic mustard from 350 acres as part of a long-term strategy to eliminate the invasive species from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. ($150,000)
· Minnesota Trout Unlimited and partners will augment the quality of stream and riparian habitat along 4,500 feet of the Sucker River by installing in-stream woody debris and rock veins, controlling invasive plants, stabilizing banks, and restoring native vegetation. ($100,000)
· Buffalo Audubon Society and partners will control invasive species and establish native vegetation to restore and enhance 85 acres of critical bird habitat at Joseph Davis State Park along the Upper Niagara River Corridor. ($200,000)
· Town of West Seneca Conservation Commission and partners will restore a 30-acre oxbow wetland on Buffalo Creek and train volunteers in order to strengthen the town’s capacity to manage its Buffalo River tributary corridors. ($60,670)
· Cleveland Museum of Natural History and partners will conduct prescribed burns, control invasive species, and plant native vegetation to improve 70 acres of lake plain swamp forest within the Museum’s 329-acre Geneva Swamp Preserve. ($85,390)
· Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park and partners will control invasive species and plant native seed to improve 50 acres of habitat along the Cuyahoga River in northern Ohio. ($40,000)
· Lake Metroparks will control invasive species on 22 acres of the Arcola Creek Estuary, 31 acres of upstream wetland habitat, and additional private lands along a 3.5-mile unit within the Arcola Creek watershed in northern Ohio. ($48,653)
· The Nature Conservancy and partners will conduct prescribed burns and invasive species control to restore 400 acres of wetlands and 100 acres of associated uplands within the Lakeplain Oak Openings region of Ohio and Michigan. ($869,189)
· Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation and partners will improve aquatic connectivity and fish passage between Big Creek Marsh and Long Point Bay by installing a large culvert/eco-passage under the Long Point Causeway. ($110,000)
· Grand River Conservation Authority and partners will convert 600 acres of erodible farmland to native riparian forest and grassland habitat as well as control invasive species on 134 acres of adjacent lands to prevent infestation of the restored areas. ($150,000)
· Bay Area Restoration Council and partners will restore wetlands and 4.6 miles of stream associated with Cootes Paradise Marsh and Hamilton Harbour through volunteer-based Adopt-a-Creek and Marsh Planting programs. ($30,000)
· Ducks Unlimited and partners will conduct prescribed burns and control invasive species to restore and enhance 392 acres of wetland and upland habitat at four locations within the Lake Erie watershed of Pennsylvania. ($632,603)
· Bad River Watershed Association and partners will replace two poorly performing culverts to restore 1.5 miles of upstream fish passage and improve 1,000 feet of in-stream habitat in the Bad River watershed. ($79,280)
· Riveredge Nature Center staff and nearly 300 volunteers will control invasive species to enhance 90 acres and 1.3 miles of stream within Riveredge Nature Center, a 379- acre environmental learning center in southeastern Wisconsin. ($31,803)
· Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and partners will restore natural channel meander, plant native vegetation, and install in-stream woody debris to restore and enhance 5,000 feet of stream and four wetlands on the Brillion Wildlife Area. ($49,985)
For more information on the Sustain Our Great Lakes program including applicant eligibility, eligible projects, and submission requirements, visit www.sustainourgreatlakes.org and become a fan on Facebook or follow the program on Twitter (@SOGL).
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
A nonprofit established by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation sustains, restores and enhances the Nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. The Foundation creates partnerships between the public and private sectors to strategically invest in conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. Since its establishment, the Foundation has awarded more than 11,000 grants to more than 3,800 organizations in the United States and abroad and leveraged - with its partners - more than $530 million in federal funds into over $1.8 billion for conservation. For more information, visit www.nfwf.org.
ArcelorMittal is the world's leading integrated steel and mining company, with presence in more than 60 countries. ArcelorMittal is the leader in all major global steel markets, including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging, with leading R&D and technology, as well as sizeable captive supplies of raw materials and outstanding distribution networks. With an industrial presence in over 20 countries spanning four continents, the Company covers all of the key steel markets, from emerging to mature.
Through its core values of sustainability, quality and leadership, ArcelorMittal commits to operating in a responsible way with respect to the health, safety and well-being of its employees, contractors and the communities in which it operates. It is also committed to the sustainable management of the environment. It takes a leading role in the industry's efforts to develop breakthrough steelmaking technologies and is actively researching and developing steel-based technologies and solutions that contribute to combat climate change.
In 2010, ArcelorMittal had revenues of $78.0 billion and crude steel production of 90.6 million tonnes, representing approximately 6 per cent of world steel output.
ArcelorMittal is listed on the stock exchanges of New York (MT), Amsterdam (MT), Paris (MT), Brussels (MT), Luxembourg (MT) and on the Spanish stock exchanges of Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia (MTS). For more information about ArcelorMittal visit: www.arcelormittal.com.
About ArcelorMittal USA Foundation
The ArcelorMittal USA Foundation makes grants in three primary focus areas: education, environment, and health and safety. In 2010, the foundation provided more than $4.9 million in grants. The Foundation supports those communities in which its employees live and its business and clients operate.
About the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency leads the nation's environmental science, research, education and assessment efforts. The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people. For more information, visit www.epa.gov.
About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
About the U.S.D.A. Forest Service
Established in 1905, the U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Forest Service manages public lands in national forests and grasslands. National forests and grasslands encompass 193 million acres of land, which is an area equivalent to the size of Texas. For more information, visit www.fs.fed.us.
About the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook , Twitter and our other social media channels.