FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2011
Ashley Spratt, 612-713-5314
Katie Steiger-Meister, 612-713-5317
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces $930,000 for wetlands and wildlife habitat under Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius, and Northeast Regional Director Marvin Moriarty, jointly announced today the approval of $930,000 for grants aimed at protecting, restoring, and/or enhancing 791 acres of wetlands and wildlife habitat in Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), Joint Venture Habitat Protection and Restoration Program.
Projects awarded funding include:
The Nature Conservancy was granted $150,000 for the Building a Protected Mosaic at Grass Bay project that will protect 41 acres of open dune/sand beach, wooded dune and swale, mixed northern hardwoods, and conifer swamps on or near the shoreline of Lake Huron. This area is of high importance to migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, and landbirds, including priority species such as Blue-winged Teal, Black-throated Blue Warbler, and Canada Warbler and also supports populations of three federally-listed plants. Protection of these two key tracts will facilitate better management of a larger high-quality complex of natural communities, and will also help land managers better protect sensitive intermittent wetlands from unauthorized off-road vehicle use and trespass.
Ducks Unlimited was granted $208,000 for the Maple River State Game Area Enhancement Project. This project will enhance344 acres of existing wetland habitat at the Maple River State Game Area in central Michigan, a 9000-acre wetland complex – the largest contiguous state-managed wetland complex in mid-Michigan. Project partners will remove outdated water control infrastructure and install a new pump and water control structure, which will not only enhance existing habitat for priority birds such as King Rail, Black Tern, and Black-crowned Night-Heron, but will also help combat the spread of invasive plants such as phragmites and purple loosestrife.
The Southwestern Michigan Land Conservancy was granted $250,000 for the Southeast Lake Michigan Riparian, Riverine, and Upland Habitats Protection/Restoration Project that will protect 120 acres of a diverse mix of habitats including upland and bottomland forest, wet meadow, and emergent marsh, including approximately two miles of frontage along the Black River, approximately two miles from Lake Michigan. The parcel supports populations of several priority breeding birds including Cerulean Warbler, Wood Duck, and American Woodcock, and recent surveys identified over 300 species of native plants on the property. In addition to protection of the parcel, project funds will also contribute to ecological restoration on site, via the removal of invasive species and stream bank restoration.
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History was granted $61,250 for the Geneva Swamp Protection Project. This project will protect 50 acres of high-quality wetlands in northeastern Ohio. This expansive wetland system in the Lake Erie Lake Plain harbors populations of the state-threatened spotted turtle as well as several state-threatened plants and also supports an exceptional diversity of breeding and migratory birds. This parcel will contribute to a larger complex of recently protected areas, and will enable project partners to better protect and restore the unique natural communities and priority breeding birds present in the project area.
Ducks Unlimited was granted $101,858 for the Presque Isle State Park Coastal Habitat Restoration. Presque Isle State Park is one of the most important migratory stopover areas in North America. Its’ 3,200 acres provides a large area of wetlands and undeveloped shoreline (e.g., beach dunes and shrubs) that maintains high habitat quality for waterfowl, waterbirds and shorebirds. The park contains the best remaining complex of sand dunes, sand barrens, emergent wetlands, and open-water lagoons along the U.S. shoreline of Lake Erie. This project is part of a comprehensive, long-term, multimillion-dollar, collaborative effort between state agencies, non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, and local volunteers to enhance and restore unique natural communities located on the Lake Erie shoreline of northwestern Pennsylvania. This grant will enable invasive species removal efforts on 201 acres, including aerial herbicide applications and a Menzi flail mower attachment.
The Buffalo Audubon Society was granted $160,031 for the Avian Habitat Restoration at Joe Davis State Park project. Along the Niagara River shoreline, Joseph Davis State Park (JDSP) is a designated state Bird Conservation Area and Globally Important Bird Area (IBA). In a largely industrial landscape, the 320 acre JDSP stands out as a relatively large, relatively undeveloped open space along the Niagara River corridor between Lakes Erie and Ontario. The JDSP provides critical breeding habitat for many of high priority bird species. It also provides important stopover habitat for migrating birds along this major migratory corridor. Although more than 150 acres of shrub habitat was formerly present on JDSP, nearly half of this acreage has been degraded in the last decade through establishment by invasive species and natural succession. This project will restore at least 35 acres of highly productive habitat for native pollinators and breeding and migrating birds.
The grants were awarded under the Great Lakes Watershed Habitat and Species Restoration Initiative Grants Programs administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a Department of the Interior agency. The grants were funded by the President’s 2011 Budget which provided $300 million for the Environmental Protection Agency –led, interagency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. A portion of those funds were provided to the Upper Mississippi/Great Lakes and Atlantic Coast Joint Ventures for priority bird habitat conservation projects.
Passed in 2010, GLRI provides matching grants to organizations to restore and protect habitats for the protection and conservation of native Great Lakes fish and wildlife populations.
For more information on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative projects, please visit http://www.fws.gov/GLRI/.
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.
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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.
Connect with our Facebook page at facebook.com/usfwsmidwest, follow our tweets at twitter.com/usfwsmidwest, watch our YouTube Channel at youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at flickr.com/photos/usfwsmidwest.