Media Tip Sheet
Midwest Region


Cycle of Success: Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program
There's a reason the Service's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program has been called "The Cycle of Success." Funded by excise taxes on hunting, boating and angling equipment, this program provides more than $180 million in funding to habitat restoration and wildlife research to further the hunting, shooting and angling sports.

Federal Duck Stamps: Your personal investment to conservation!
Since 1934, sales of Federal Duck Stamps have raised more than $700 million to acquire habitat for national wildlife refuges in all 50 states. Find out which refuges near you have been purchased in part with Duck Stamp dollars at

Then go visit, meet the refuge manager and explore the refuge to see the spectacles of wildlife that Duck Stamp dollars have helped protect. Ninety-eight cents of every dollar generated by the sales of Federal Duck Stamps goes directly to purchase or lease wetlands specifically targets vital breeding habitat within the National Wildlife Refuge System. When you buy a Duck Stamp, you are doing your part to help ensure a bright future for wildlife, waterfowl and other migratory birds.

Natural Resources Damage Assessment: Preparing for the future
Oil spills and environmental contaminants have presented major challenges for conservation in recent times. The Natural Resource Damage Assessment is a critical part of the Service's responsibility to ensure responsible parties are held accountable for damages caused to natural resources as a result of contamination. Talk to Service staff who lead NRDA efforts in the Midwest Region.

Hydrokinetic Power and Wildlife
Hydrokinetic projects in major waterways, including the Mississippi River, are among the latest endeavors as the United States looks for renewable energy resources. Consisting of turbines installed on the riverbed, hydrokinetic energy has become a focus for energy producers and resource managers. As this potential energy source becomes more attractive, the Service and other resource agencies will be busy assessing impacts on fish and wildlife and other resources.

Ten Years of Success in Conservation through the State Wildlife Grant Program
The State Wildlife Grants Program provides federal dollars to every state and territory to support cost-effective conservation aimed at preventing wildlife from becoming endangered.

First-Ever Internationally Funded Fish Habitat Restoration Project in the Great Lakes ongoing at Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge
U.S. and Canadian biologists are working together to engineer and construct a lake sturgeon spawning reef in the Detroit River. Construction is nearly completed on the project, located in Canadian waters, just off of Fighting Island, across from Detroit, Mich. The location was selected because the area was historically known as an important spawning and nursery area for lake sturgeon. In November 2006, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey biologists captured four juvenile lake sturgeon near the southern end of the island. The historic and recent evidence of the importance of this area made it the ideal location to build the reef.

Isle Royale National Park: Coaster Brook Trout Recovery
Isle Royale National Park is one of the most remote and unique wilderness areas in the U.S. The park consists of one large island surrounded by about 400 smaller islands; it includes submerged land which extends 4 1/2 miles out into the largest freshwater lake in the world. Isle Royale is home to three of about a dozen populations of coaster brook trout remaining in Lake Superior.

Restoring Fish and Wildlife for Future Generations: The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
Comprised of more than 10,000 miles of coastline and 30,000 islands, the Great Lakes provide drinking water, transportation, power and recreational opportunities to the 30 million citizens who call the Great Lakes basin "home." Unfortunately, years of environmental degradation has left the Great Lakes in need of immediate on-the-ground action to save this precious resource for generations to come. In 2010 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was allocated approximately $65 million through an interagency agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement Great Lakes Restoration Initiative priority programs involving toxic substances, invasive species and habitat restoration in the Great Lakes. Funding continues in 2011 and the Service is gearing up for another active and exciting field season.

Highlight a National Wildlife Refuge
Each of our 54 national wildlife refuges are home to rich landscapes, healthy habitats and thriving populations of fish, wildlife and plants, as well as unique cultural histories, that make them special places for Americans to visit and enjoy. One is located within an hour or so drive of most American's homes.

Duck's-Eye View of the Prairie Pothole Region
Follow the Regional pilot as he uses an airplane to map habitat, survey easements and estimate wildlife populations across the Midwest and the Continent.

Marsh Masters
Who do you call when you've got miles of marsh between you and where you need to be? The Marsh Master. This unique piece of equipment allows staff at several refuges to conduct management activities and conduct surveys in hard to get places.

Air Boats: Not Just for the Bayou
The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge and other refuges use air boats for many activities across the Midwest. These boats are used year-round on both water and ice.

Upper Mississippi River NWFR Virtual Geocache GPS Tour and cell phone tour
Take a virtual geocache GPS tour of the Upper Mississippi River NWFR. Celebrating more than a decade of learning and adventuring, geocaching has become a huge outdoor recreation phenomenon, with more than 1.2 million active sites world-wide. Upper Mississippi River is a leader in linking the public through geocaching and spreading the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Smallest National Wildlife Refuge in the Country
Mille Lacs NWR, an island in Lake Mille Lacs, a just a few acres in the smallest national wildlife refuge in the nation. It is also home to a unique population of terns.

Tundra Swans by the Thousands
From early November through about the third week in November, hundreds of people come to a newly constructed overlook near Brownsville, Minnesota, to view thousands of tundra swans, ducks and geese feed, rest and migrate through the Mississippi River Valley.

Wetland and Grassland Easement Violations
Go with a refuge law enforcement officer and our regional pilot as they fly over the state looking for people who have intentionally violated easements and destroyed wildlife habitat.

New Hunting Opportunities at Wisconsin Refuge
Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin will be opening soon to new hunting opportunities. These new opportunities are the perfect way for a family to begin a "new" hunting tradition.

On Standby for Oil Spills
The Gulf oil spill brought to focus just how vulnerable fish and wildlife resources are when oil or other contaminants are released into the environment. Closer to home in the Midwest, Service biologists worked tirelessly when pipeline malfunctions spilled oil into waterways in Michigan and Illinois. Find out more about how the Service's Environmental Contaminants biologists prepare for and respond to potentially disastrous releases of oil.

Tracking Emerging Contaminants
"Emerging contaminants" is a term commonly used to describe a broad range of substances - personal care products, pharmaceuticals, new pesticides, detergents, flame retardants, and others - that have recently become a concern in waters across the United States. Although scientists are able to detect these substances in surface water, little is known about their effects on fish and wildlife populations. To start to fill this gap, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Environmental Contaminants programs in the Midwest and Northeast received Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding for an early warning program in five areas across the Great Lakes Basin. Results of this study will identify the extent of contamination, impacts on the health of local fish populations, and actions to prevent or reduce adverse impacts before they become widespread.

Tracking an Elusive Urban Rattlesnake
Service biologists are are part of a multi-agency effort to monitor the eastern massasauga rattlesnake in the Chicago area. The eastern massasauga is a candidate for listing as a federally threatened or endangered species, with historical occurrences in 10 states and the Province of Ontario. Throughout much of its range it is the only venomous snake, making it of high educational and display value for zoos, as well as a species of conservation concern. Learn about how the Service is working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and other partners to gain an understanding of this rarely seen species.

Last updated: April 4, 2013