Safe and convenient harbor for Lake Michigan boaters in Michigan City, Indiana
Indiana citizens and visitors will benefit from a new boat access site in Michigan City that will create a safe and convenient harbor for Lake Michigan boaters. Funding for this project was provided to the Indiana Department of Natural resources by three Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration funding programs including the Sport Fish Restoration Program, Boating Infrastructure Grant Program, and the Clean Vessel Act Program. Primary amenities will include 36 transient boat slips with associated dock facilities, sewage pump-outs, and 4 boat launch ramps with ample parking. All will be open to the public.
Connecting public land, improving recreation and benefiting wildlife along the Muscatatuck River in Indiana
Wildlife Restoration program funding will also help support a project designed to connect fragmented parcels of public land along the Muscatatuck River via land acquisition and easements. This project will restore and enhance riparian corridors, protect essential habitat for threatened and endangered species, open public access for recreational opportunities, preserve significant rest areas for migratory birds, especially waterfowl, and create a regionally significant conservation destination. The 25,600 acre area known as Muscatatuck Bottoms contains the largest least-fragmented complex of bottomland forest remaining in Indiana, characterized by several species of oak, hickory and sweet gum. The site provides habitat for a number of species of conservation concern, including such birds as the least bittern, yellow-crowned night heron, red-shouldered hawk and Cerulean warbler. Two state-endangered reptiles, the Kirtland's snake and copperbelly watersnake, also are found there, as is featherfoil, a state-endangered plant.
Protecting riparian wetland areas along 94 miles of the Wabash River in Indiana
Indiana DNR is also using Wildlife Restoration funds to acquire 43,000 acres located in the flood plain of the Wabash River and Sugar Creek in west central Indiana, which will benefit wildlife, public recreation and the environment. The area follows 94 river miles along the Wabash River and will increase DNR-owned riparian wetland areas by more than 64 percent. Despite losses in biodiversity, the Wabash River section around Terre Haute is home to 61 species of plants, animals, and habitats considered rare, threatened or endangered. The Sugar Creek and Wabash River are rich biological reservoirs containing many of Indiana's rarest fish, mussels, birds and plants. Bald eagles and great blue herons nest in the river corridors, and the wooded valleys are home to such rare interior forest bird species as the Cerulean warbler. Federally endangered aquatic mussels such as the clubshell, Eastern fanshell, pink mucket and white wartyback are found in Sugar Creek or the Wabash. The Canada yew, Eastern hemlock and white pine - all ice age remnants now rare in Indiana - are abundant along Sugar Creek.