U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Wisconsin, Michigan and New York to benefit from restoration of aquatic species habitat in Great Lakes basin

Contact:

Mark Brouder, 715-682-6185 x. 11, Mark_[email protected]

Ashley Spratt, 612-713-5314, Ashley_Spratt @fws.gov

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Midwest Region, in partnership with the Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership (GLBFHP), announced today that approximately $500,000 of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding will support on-the-ground fish habitat restoration in the Great Lakes region.

The funding is provided for priority projects identified by members of the Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership, which was established under the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP)—a national investment strategy to maximize the impact of fish habitat conservation dollars. At least 70 percent of the funding provided will go toward on-the-ground fish habitat protection and restoration projects across the Great Lakes basin. A portion of this funding is set aside for Service field stations that work directly with partners to provide technical assistance with project implementation and grant administration.

“Fish habitat partnerships like GLBFHP identify key watersheds and tributaries in the Great Lakes region that need restoration efforts to improve habitat for aquatic species,” said Tom Melius, Regional Director of the Service’s Midwest Region. “The projects in Michigan, Wisconsin and New York will not only contribute to balanced ecosystems, but also will improve the economic opportunities provided by the sport fishing community.”

Projects to receive funding in 2011 include:

* The Conservation Resource Alliance in Michigan was granted $160,000 for the Boardman River Dam Removal Project: Phase 1- Brown Bridge Dam. The Conservation Resource Alliance and its partners will utilize these and other funds to improve 160 miles of river habitat by removing Brown Bridge Dam. In addition to removing the dam, in-stream habitat and 253 acres of wetland habitat will be restored.

* The Bad River Natural Resources Department in Wisconsin was granted $55,115 for the Graveyard Creek Habitat Restoration project. The Bad River Natural Resources Department will improve cold water habitat for resident and coaster brook trout by removing beaver dams that trap sediment and hinder upstream movement, install large woody debris and install spawning gravel substrate. These efforts will provide additional high quality, cold water habitat for resident brook trout.

* The National Wild Turkey Federation in New York was granted $135,420 for the Seneca and Cayuga Watersheds Stream Corridor Restoration project. The National Wild Turkey Federation and its partners will use these and other funds to improve approximately three miles of in-stream habitat, 48 acres of riparian corridor, and up to five cattle ponds to improve the water quality of five tributary streams on private and federal lands that drain into Seneca and Cayuga Lakes in Seneca and Schuyler Counties of New York.

Funding for these projects was provided by the President’s 2011 Budget which provided $300 million for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency –led, interagency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. For more information on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service activities related specifically to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, please visit http://www.fws.gov/GLRI.

The Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership (http://www.fws.gov/midwest/GLBFHP/) is a recognized partnership of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP). Under the plan, federal, state and privately-raised funds are the foundation for building regional partnerships that address the Nation’s biggest fish habitat issues. This comprehensive effort will treat the causes of fish habitat decline, not just the symptoms. For more information about the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, its partnerships and programs please visit: http://www.fishhabitat.org

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 http://www.fws.gov.

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