FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 25, 2009
Ashley Spratt, 612-713-5314
Tim Patronski, 612-713-5168
Service Awards More Than $590,000 for Fish and Wildlife Restoration in Great Lakes
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today $593,089 in federal funding for fish and wildlife restoration projects in the Great Lakes Basin. The projects will be matched by $278,810 in partner contributions, and will focus on the rehabilitation of sustainable populations of native fish and wildlife and their habitats.
The grants are funded under the authority of the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act, which provides assistance to states, tribes and other interested entities to encourage cooperative conservation, and restoration and management of native fish and wildlife resources and their habitat in the Great Lakes Basin.
"The Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act is the primary federal program dedicated to restoring important fish and wildlife and the habitat they depend on in the Great Lakes region," said Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius. "Projects funded by the Act improve not only fish and wildlife resources, but also support a healthy Great Lakes environment, economy and way of life."
Ten projects were selected for funding with 2008 funds. Grant recipients include Ducks Unlimited, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Michigan DNR, Michigan State University, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Superior Watershed Partnership and the University of Illinois.
Project proposals are developed by interested entities and sponsored each year by tribes and states in the Great Lakes in response to a request for proposals from the Service. The Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Proposal Review Committee, a 25-member body representing states and tribes in the Great Lakes Basin, reviews project proposals and develops recommendations on projects and funding for approval by the Service.
The following projects will be funded with 2008 dollars:
Lake Erie Watershed Wetland Restoration Program - Ducks Unlimited ($50,000). This project will restore 100 acres of wetlands in the Lake Erie watershed in Ohio. Restoring these wetlands will improve water quality and increase habitat available for breeding, migrating and wintering waterfowl and other wetland-dependent fish and wildlife.
Glacial Habitat Restoration Area and Rush Lake Initiative to Restore and Enhance Wetlands and Associated Upland Habitats - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ($30,000). This project will restore 30 acres of wetlands and 100 acres of uplands within the Glacial Habitat and Rush Lake restoration areas in southeast Wisconsin. Restoring these habitats will provide critical breeding and migratory habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, colonial waterbirds and migratory songbirds.
Saginaw Bay Lakeplain Prairie and Oak Opening Restoration Project - Michigan Department of Natural Resources ($90,000). This project will restore 300 acres of lakeplain prairie and oak openings for birds, reptiles, amphibians and plants in the Saginaw Bay region, Michigan. This area provides important migratory, breeding and non-breeding habitat for numerous waterfowl and other migratory birds.
Spatial and Temporal Components of Variation in Great Lake Percid Populations: Implications for Conservation and Management - Michigan State University ($67,878). This project will provide recommendations for surveys of yellow perch and walleye populations in the Great Lakes. Surveys are the primary means for collecting data on fish populations in the basin and are used to improve our understanding of population changes over time.
Surveillance of Botulism Related Mortality in Waterbirds of the Wisconsin Great Lakes - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ($28,418). This project will evaluate the scope and scale of waterbird mortality due to Type E botulism (BotE) in the Wisconsin Great Lakes region, with a specific focus on impacts to loons.
Great Lakes Spotted Muskellunge Reintroduction Natural Spawning Effort Evaluation - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ($62,598). This project will evaluate current muskellunge spawning activity in Lake Michigan near Green Bay, Wisconsin and develop management recommendations to restore a self-sustaining population.
Evaluation of Habitat Remediation in Thunder Bay, Lake Huron, on Lake Trout Spawning Success - Michigan Department of Environmental Quality ($64,000). This project will enhance a degraded spawning reef in Lake Huron near Alpena, Michigan and evaluate the effect on lake trout spawning.
Openland Enhancement at French Creek WA and Swan Lake WA - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ($6,795). This project will enhance 48 acres of openland in Columbia and Marquette Counties, Wisconsin by using prescribed burns, chemical treatment, possible mechanical treatment and inter-seeding techniques to control invasive species.
Brook Trout Habitat Protection and Evaluation in the Salmon Trout River Watershed, Marquette County, Michigan - Superior Watershed Partnership ($73,400). This project will reduce sedimentation at several sites and improve passage for fish and other aquatic organisms at one site in the Salmon Trout River watershed in Marquette County, Michigan. It will help prevent further habitat degradation and make additional habitat available for fish spawning, rearing and feeding.
Evaluation of Lake Trout Spawning Reef Suitability in Illinois Waters of Lake Michigan - University of Illinois - Illinois Natural History Survey ($120,000). This project will identify suitable lake trout spawning habitat, measure egg deposition and assess post-hatch lake trout survival at JulianŐs and Waukegan Reefs in southern Lake Michigan.
Passed in 1990 and reauthorized in 1998 and 2006, the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act authorizes the Service to implement fish and wildlife restoration projects and other activities of regional importance in the Great Lakes Basin. Since 1998, 87 restoration projects totaling $8.3 million - including $5 million in Federal funds - have been implemented. More than 60 organizations have contributed nearly $3.3 million in matching partner support.
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.