Sustain Our Great Lakes Program Announces $7.6 Million
in Grants to Protect and Restore Great Lakes
Public–private partnership funds 25 projects enabling
$16.8 million of on-the-ground impact in U.S. and Canada
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Honorable Debbie Stabenow and the Honorable Vernon Ehlers gathered today in Grand Rapids with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT), local officials and federal agency partners - the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S.D.A Forest Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – to announce 25 projects selected to receive a total of $7.6 million in funding through the Sustain Our Great Lakes program.
The 25 selected projects will help protect, restore and enhance the ecological integrity of the lakes and surrounding region by restoring critical aquatic and terrestrial habitats, controlling invasive species, protecting rare natural communities, improving passage for fish and other aquatic organisms, and educating citizens on how to protect the ecosystem.
“These grants are a testament to the work of these organizations, who have tirelessly dedicated themselves to protecting the environment of Michigan and the entire Great Lakes region,” said Senator Stabenow. “The Great Lakes are not only a part of our Michigan way of life, but they are a critical economic asset that makes our region unique. The preservation of these resources is critical to our economic recovery and jobs, and ensuring that future generations can enjoy the natural beauty of the world’s largest freshwater system.”
"These grants will support critical work to help make the Great Lakes healthy again," said Jeff Trandahl, Executive Director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. "They are made possible by the collaboration and support of our program partners, who have all made significant contributions to the success of these efforts.”
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. This year, additional grant funding was provided through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a $475 million initiative to protect, restore and enhance the Great Lakes ecosystem.
“The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is an important step forward in addressing the most difficult environmental challenges facing our region, which is why I recently introduced legislation to authorize the Initiative,” said Congressman Ehlers. “The funding awarded today represents the commitment of the Sustain Our Great Lakes partners to advance the Initiative and improve the overall health of the Great Lakes Basin.”
“The Great Lakes watershed provides immeasurable benefits to communities and companies throughout the region,” said Bill Steers, President, ArcelorMittal USA Foundation. “ArcelorMittal, along with our Sustain Our Great Lakes partners, has made a significant commitment to protecting and restoring this invaluable resource. With the infusion of additional funding from our federal partners through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, we are proud that this year’s significant pool of grants will provide local governments and conservation organizations with even more capacity to protect and restore this unique watershed.”
This year, Sustain Our Great Lakes grants were awarded through two separate funding opportunities. First, the Community Grants program offered awards ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 to support organizations working at the local level to protect and improve watershed health while building local stewardship capacity. Sixteen grants totaling $1,255,876 were awarded under the 2010 Community Grants program. Second, the Stewardship Grants program offered awards ranging from $150,000 to $1.5 million for large-scale restoration, enhancement and protection projects. Nine projects received a total of $6,392,570 in grant funding under the 2010 Stewardship Grants program. Grantees have committed to match the $7.6 million in total grant funding with an additional $9.2 million, for a total conservation investment of more than $16.8 million of on-the ground impact.
“This is great news for the Lakes and the people that rely on them,” said Charlie Wooley, Deputy Regional Director of the Midwest Region, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The diversity of the grants allow for communities and partners to get involved at all levels…from a 9-acre wetland restoration in western New York, to a 500-acre reforestation in northwestern Indiana. It’s a real opportunity for citizen conservation.”
The 2010 grants include:
· Save the Dunes Conservation Fund and partners will control invasive species,plant native species, and conduct prescribed burning to restore 14 acres of remnant foredune and savanna habitat at Stockwell Woods in LaPorte County.
· Shirley Heinze Land Trust and partners will restore 47 acres of interdunal wetland habitats in the Indiana Dunes region to counter the effects of fire suppression and invasive species in the area.
· Huron Pines Resource Conservation & Development Council and partners will restore wildlife habitats and connectivity in Silver Creek by removing nine fish barriers, installing 2,000 feet of buffer strips, and controlling invasive species on 20 acres.
· Lake Superior State University and partners will conduct piping plover surveys, monitoring, nest protection, captive rearing as well as invasive species control to improve piping plover reproductive success and restore nesting habitat.
· Michigan Natural Features Inventory and partners will develop a regional network to detect andcontrol non-native, invasive Phragmites along more than 100 miles of Michigan’s Lake Huron shoreline.
· Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation & Development Council will work with partners to establish a network for identifying, monitoring and controlling invasive plants throughout the Upper Peninsula.
· Schrems West Michigan Chapter of Trout Unlimitedand partners will improve more than 2,500 feet of instream habitat in the Coldwater River to reduce bank erosion and enhance populations of trout and other wildlife.
· Stewardship Network will coordinate volunteer efforts to remove an anticipated 150,000 pounds of invasive garlic mustard across the Great Lakes basin to improve habitat quality and reduce the risk of expansion into other areas.
· Stewardship Network will develop and distribute Field Workshop Kits that will enable sponsors and practitioners of workshops and workdays to quickly and effectively plan and host science-based events in the Great Lakes basin.
- Sugarloaf: the North Shore Stewardship Association will guide the restoration of at least 500 acres of coastal forest by providing stewardship training and hands-on assistance to landowners along Minnesota’s North Shore of Lake Superior.
· Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeperand partners will restore three degraded Niagara River tributaries through its Riverwatch Academy program; academy trainees will develop skills while replanting and monitoring 35.5 riparian acres and 3.5 miles of shoreline.
· Research Foundation of the State University of New Yorkwill control invasive species, plant native species, and conduct excavation to restore a 9-acre sedge/grass wetland on agricultural land near Braddock Bay of Lake Ontario.
· The Nature Conservancy will improve wildlife habitat and hydrology by restoring 35 acres of wetland habitat and associated upland buffer on land recently added to the Kitty Todd Preserve in the Oak Openings Region.
· Credit River Anglers Association, working with Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, will construct a fish ladder at Norval Dam along the Credit River in Ontario to allow passage of American eel, Atlantic salmon and other fish species.
· Elgin Stewardship Councilwill involve the local community in the restoration of wetland, tallgrass prairie and forest habitat on 120 acres of marginal farm land adjacent to Brock Creek in Elgin County.
- Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership and partners will improve wildlife habitat and water quality by restoring 18 acres and 2,500 feet of stream bank along Centerville Creek in Manitowoc County.
Illinois and Wisconsin
· Lake County Forest Preserve District and partners will enhance wildlife habitat by improving hydrology and restoring 690 acres of coastal lakeplain at Chiwaukee Prairie, Spring Bluff and Illinois Beach State Park.
· The Nature Conservancy will improve wildlife habitat and water quality by restoring 80 acres of wetlands and reforesting approximately 500 acres of adjacent uplands in the Upper Saint Joseph watershed in Steuben County.
· City of Frankenmuth and partnerswill construct a "rock ramp" style fish passage sequence at the Frankenmuth Dam to restore connectivity to 73 stream miles and provide fish access to historical spawning habitat.
· Conservation Resource Alliancewill improve habitat and restore connectivity along tributaries to the Upper Manistee River by removing twelve dams, improving a stream road crossing, and assisting landowners with habitat restoration.
· Ducks Unlimited and partners will restore and protect the ecology of lower Bowens Creek and Arcadia Marsh by acquiring 128 acres and restoring 10 miles of fish passage, one mile of channelized stream, and 75 acres of coastal marsh.
· The Nature Conservancy and partners will conduct surveys, control, and monitoring of seven major invasive plants that threaten dunes, coastal wetlands and forests along the 505-mile shoreline of eastern Lake Michigan.
· Chagrin River Land Conservancy and partners will protect 112 acres of globally imperiled and rare habitat on Kelleys Island through fee simple acquisition and conservation easements.
· Hamilton Port Authoritywill add rock substrate and enhance existing structural elements to create a spawning shoal for lake herring, whitefish and other native fish in western Lake Ontario.
Wisconsin and Michigan
· River Alliance of Wisconsin will construct a fish bypass around two dams on the Menominee River to facilitate downstream lake sturgeon migration and population growth in Lake Michigan.
For more information on the Sustain Our Great Lakes program including applicant eligibility, eligible projects, and submission requirements, visit www.sustainourgreatlakes.org and became 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 10,800 grants to more than 3,700 organizations in the United States and abroad and leveraged - with its partners - more than $490 million in federal funds into over $1.6 billion for conservation. For more information, visit www.nfwf.org.
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.
ArcelorMittal is the world's leading steel company, with operations 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 wellbeing of its employees, contractors and the communities in which it operates. It is also committed to the sustainable management of the environment and of finite resources. ArcelorMittal recognizes that it has a significant responsibility to tackle the global climate change challenge; 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. 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 the health and safety of our communities. In 2008, the foundation provided more than $4.5 million in grants. The Foundation supports those communities in which its employees live and its business and clients operate.