August 30, 2010
Georgia Parham 812-334-4261 x 1203
Darin Simpkins 920-866-1739
Funds will Enhance Great Lakes Coastal Habitats and Species
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will provide $400,000 under its Coastal Program as part of a partnership to conserve fish, wildlife and habitat across the Great Lakes basin. Funding will support habitat and wildlife management projects in Michigan and Wisconsin.
Through the Service’s Great Lakes Coastal Program, Service funds will be leveraged with $2.5 million from partner organizations for projects that will protect, restore and enhance wetlands and other key coastal habitats to benefit fish, waterfowl, shorebirds and songbirds and other species. Funding will also enhance efforts to recover the federally endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly, which occurs primarily in the Great Lakes basin.
“The Coastal Program provides an important source of support for joint efforts throughout the Great Lakes basin,” said Tom Melius, the Service’s Midwest Regional Director. “Through the program, we work with our partners to identify, prioritize and address key conservation issues that affect the region’s fish, wildlife and habitat.”
About $282,000 of Coastal Program monies will support a partnership among the Service, the U.S. Forest Service, University of South Dakota, The Nature Conservancy and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to develop landscape-based decision tools to guide management actions for the federally endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly. Funded projects will determine the size, structure, and distribution of dragonfly populations, and will provide information about the effects of exotic plants and herbicides on Hine’s populations and habitat. Though most field work will be accomplished in Wisconsin and northern Michigan, results of these projects will be applicable throughout the range of the dragonfly.
Another $50,000 in Coastal Program funds will support work to restore and enhance degraded wetlands and waterways on the west shore of Lake Michigan’s Green Bay in Wisconsin. Located primarily on privately owned lands, these areas will provide improved habitat for spawning northern pike and other wetland-dependent wildlife, such as waterfowl and migratory birds. Partners, including Ducks Unlimited and Wisconsin’s Brown County are contributing to the project, which focuses on the Barkhausen Preserve in Brown and Oconto counties.
On the St. Clair River in Michigan, about $75,000 in Coastal funds will support a larger partnership project to restore native fish spawning habitat in the St Clair River Delta (Middle Channel). Coastal funds will be directed toward the portion of the project that will construct a spawning reef in the river to benefit species such as lake sturgeon and walleye. Partners in the overall habitat project include U.S. Geological Survey, Michigan Sea Grant and NOAA.
The Service's Coastal Program - Great Lakes mission is to identify and protect valuable fish and wildlife habitat and species in the Great Lakes basin. The program features non-regulatory, partnership-based efforts to achieve its mission, and works to forge innovative partnerships with local and statewide land trusts and other conservation partners.
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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