Midwest Region Ecological Services Conserving the nature of America

Conserving the Nature
of America

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.




U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Service in the Midwest

The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Find a location near you.

The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.
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near you »



Trustees restore Menominee Indian Tribe lands





5-Islands Creek after restoration - Photo Credit: Menominee Indian Tribe

Lands and waters important to the Menominee Indian Tribe were restored as part of efforts under the Fox River/Green Bay Natural Resource Damage Assessment. After the damage assessment was conducted, the trustee council determined there was work to be done to restore tribal land and water to a healthy state.

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Bringing Back Oneida Lake





A view of Oneida from the shoreline.

Restoring resources lost to contamination is a primary goal of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment program. Especially important is restoring resources of cultural importance to Native American tribes. For the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin, regaining the use of Oneida Lake is a decades-old dream.

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Something’s fishy in Green Bay





Biologists hold a spotted muskellunge (musky) that was stocked as a fingerling and recovered.

The muskellunge is a large freshwater fish native to North America and an exciting sportfish for many anglers in the Midwest. Muskies can be found in lakes and rivers all over the Great Lakes Region, into Canada, and the upper Mississippi River drainage. These days, Green Bay is seen by many as one of the finest muskie-producing bodies of water in North America. But it wasn’t like that just a few years ago.

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Illinois-Iowa Field Office initiates partnership with agriculture to make a difference



American golden plover

The American golden plover breeds on the Arctic tundra and migrates through the Midwest to wintering grounds on campos of Uruguay and the pampas of Argentina. During the northward migration back to the breeding grounds, an estimated 60% of the global population makes one of the final stops in agricultural fields near Champaign, Illinois to feed on nightcrawlers and earthworms that are prevalent in this area.

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Threats to birds and some solutions: Updating lighting method on communications towers can save millions of birds annually



Communications towers on the horizon at sunset. Photo by Chris Khamken/Creative Commons.

Twice a year an amazing variety of sizes, shapes and colors of birds fill the skies as they migrate across this region, most surviving an equally amazing variety of challenges. One such challenge is navigating around communications towers, which kill an estimated 6.5 million birds annually through collisions with towers or guy wires used in tower support.

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Response to Spill of Dielectric Fluid from Cables in the Straits of Mackinac





Straits of Mackinac from Mackinac Island, Michigan.

Two of six high-voltage electrical transmission lines that lie on the bottom across the Straits of Mackinac experienced breaks on April 1, 2018. American Transmission Company, owner of the lines, estimated that approximately 600 gallons of dielectric fluid, consisting of a mixture of synthetic mineral oils with the appearance of a light vegetable oil, were likely released.

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Removal of Alcott Street Dam benefits Michigan’s Portage Creek





Alcott Street Dam

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.

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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.

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