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Ecological Services Program in the Upper Midwest


Removal of Alcott Street Dam

benefits Michigan’s Portage Creek

Alcott street dam

Alcott Street dam.

Photo by Lisa Williams; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


As part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment for the Superfund site along the Kalamazoo River in Kalamazoo, Michigan, trustees are working to remove the Alcott Street Dam and restore about 3,000 feet of Portage Creek.


Removal of the 90-year-old dam is underway and is expected to be complete later this year. Trustees plan to remove the dam along with the associated infrastructure so that they can create a natural creek bed with a rocky riffle. Additional riffles will be installed along the creek to lessen the steep drop in elevation at the dam. About 50,000 cubic yards of material will be removed to help shape the new channel, provide a clean creek bottom and banks, and increase floodplain capacity in the area. Native vegetation will be planted along the banks and in the floodplain.


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Kalamazoo River Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration


Partners tackle another lead mining restoration project in Missouri




Partners planted 550 small trees as part of a restoration project on a former mining area in southeast Missouri.

Trustees for Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration in Missouri, including the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Service, have begun another project in the southeast Missouri lead mining district. In December of 2017, trustees started work on the restoration of the Little St. Francis River chat pile, planting more than 550 container-grown trees at the site of a remediated lead mine in Fredericktown.


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Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds help acquire Door County natural area



GLRI funding helped TNC purchase boreal forest habitat in Door County, Wisconsin.

A recent purchase by The Nature Conservancy will protect nearly 400 acres of coastal boreal forest in Door County, Wisconsin. The acquisition, funded in part by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, is in an area surrounded by the Baileys Harbor Boreal Forest and Wetlands State Natural Area. Once the land is designated as a state natural area, it will almost double the size of this unique and diverse natural area. The acquisition also improves public access to the state natural area by connecting once-isolated parcels of land.


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A River Righted



Ceresco Green Park

On July 25, 2010, Enbridge's Lakehead pipeline ruptured near the city of Marshall in southern Michigan and released toxic crude oil into a nearby wetland. More than 840,000 gallons of oil flowed down Talmadge Creek through 38 miles of the Kalamazoo River. This section of the Kalamazoo had to be closed to the public for the remainder of 2010 and all of 2011. Parts of the Kalamazoo River were eventually re-opened for recreational use in select areas in 2012, but were closed again in other areas for additional dredging to remove oiled sediments in 2013 and 2014. The people and communities close to the river, such as Battle Creek and Marshall, lost significant recreational opportunities due to the oil spill.


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Story Map: River of Recent Return


New Tech for Counting Wintering Monarchs


Clusters of overwintering butterflies in California.

North American monarch butterflies undertake an annual migration phenomenon that results in densely clustered overwintering colonies at sites in California and Mexico. Numbers of overwintering monarchs can reach up to tens of thousands of monarchs per site in California to tens of millions of monarchs per site in Mexico. Overwintering population estimates are the primary means for monitoring the North American monarch population—information that is increasingly important given long-term population declines observed since monitoring began in the early 1990s. With thousands or millions of monarchs clustered on a few trees, precise estimates of their population can be difficult.


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Light it up? In-situ burning as a possible tactic for oil spills in the Great Lakes

Bridge of Machinac

Is it better to clean up an oil spill using traditional methods of deploying booms and skimming the surface? Or is burning the oil in place the way to go? This summer, Lisa Williams from the Michigan Ecological Service Field Office took part in EPA’s Regional Response Team site-specific in-situ burn workshop in Mackinaw City, Mich. The goal of the meeting was to discuss the feasibility of using in-place burning as an oil spill response technique in the Great Lakes region, specifically the Straits of Mackinac.


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Shauna Marquardt recognized for protection of Sodalis Nature Preserve



Shauna Marquardt

On April 30, 2017, Shauna Marquardt of the Missouri Ecological Services Field Office, was awarded the Missouri Speleological Survey's Tex Yokum Certificate of Appreciation. The certificate is given as a way to express gratitude to recipients for their support of the Survey’s goals, which include recording and conserving the caves of Missouri.


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We have Ecological Services Field Offices in each of the eight upper Midwest States. For project reviews, Section 7 consultation, or information about endangered species that you do not find on this site, please contact the Field Office in your state.



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Last updated: April 9, 2018