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GLIN==> U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Announces $572,000 in Restoration Projects inGreat Lakes States

Richard Greenwood
    USFWS Liaison to USEPA Great Lakes National Program Office
    Team Leader Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem Team
Great Lakes National Program Office
77 West Jackson Blvd. (G-17J)
Chicago, IL 60604
Ph:  312-886-3853  Fax:  312-353-2018
Email:  rich_greenwood@fws.gov or greenwood.richard@epa.gov

     U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service                                            
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                                                           August 19, 2003   
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       U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces $572,000 in Restoration      
       Projects In Great Lakes States                                        
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       Ken Burton 202-208-5657                                               
       Rachel F. Levin 612-713-5311                                          
       The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced ten Great Lakes    
       fish and wildlife restoration projects totaling $571,750 for tribal   
       governments, five states and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.      
       The projects promote partnership efforts to help replenish habitat    
       and improve natural resource management in the Great Lakes Basin      
       and will be funded under authority of the Great Lakes Fish and        
       Wildlife Restoration Act, which launched the program in 1998.         
       "I'm very proud that the Fish and Wildlife Service is able to be a    
       catalyst in this vital international program that is so critical to   
       the Great Lakes area," said Steve Williams, the Service Director.     
       "There are enormous treasures, enormous fisheries and enormous        
       economics all at play here. This work has never been more             
       The 10 approved projects focus primarily on the rehabilitation of     
       sustainable fish populations and include the study of various         
       species of fish, their reproduction, distribution, movement, diet     
       and habitat within the Great Lakes ecosystem. One project will        
       develop a Great Lakes-wide geographic information system to help      
       drive future habitat restoration efforts. Another will map lake       
       trout spawning reefs in Lake Michigan and study spawning of fish      
       stocked by national fish hatcheries.                                  
       Another project will attempt to determine whether steel-hulled        
       barges help fish move past obstructions such as the electric          
       barrier designed to stop the Asian carp from moving to Lake           
       Michigan through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.                 
       Under sponsorship of Michigan, New York, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio    
       and member tribes of the Chippewa-Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA),   
       funds will go to the University of Michigan, the U.S. Geological      
       Survey, the State University of New York in Freedonia, the            
       University of Illinois, the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee      
       and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Between 1998 and 2002, more   
       than 50 organizations have brought matching funds and expertise to    
       the Great Lakes restoration program.                                  
       The Fish and Wildlife Service contributes up to 75 percent of the     
       cost of the projects, with matching funds this year coming from the   
       Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Natural History    
       Survey, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, CORA, the University    
       of Illinois, the University of Wisconsin, the University of           
       Michigan, the State University of New York, the University of         
       Windsor, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Great      
       Lakes Fishery Commission. The Service has provided more than $2.2     
       million for similar projects since 1998.                              
       Williams said the proposals presented this year represent a wide      
       range of needs related directly to resource conservation issues       
       identified in the 1995 Great Lakes Fishery Resources Restoration      
       Study Report to Congress and by the Joint Strategic Plan for          
       Management of Great Lakes Fisheries.                                  
       Fish and wildlife restoration proposals are developed each year by    
       the Service and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. The Council of    
       Lakes Committee, a 21-member body representing state, tribal and      
       Canadian provincial agencies, recommends proposals for funding to     
       the Service Director.                                                 
       The Service's Great Lakes program includes Minnesota, Wisconsin,      
       Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York and 46   
       Service field stations in the Great Lakes Basin.                      
       The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency    
       responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife   
       and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the       
       American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National     
       Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 540 national wildlife       
       refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management     
       areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery       
       resource offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The       
       agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered     
       Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores             
       nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife     
       habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their    
       conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that   
       distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on        
       fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.    
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