Midwest Region


September 13, 2010

Ashley Spratt, 612-713-5314
Mark Holey, 920-866-1720 or Brian Elkington 612-713-5168

Service Awards More Than $4.7 Million for Fish and Wildlife Restoration in the Great Lakes Basin

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today more than $4.7 million in federal funding has been awarded under the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act (Act) to restore sustainable populations of fish and wildlife resources and their habitats in the Great Lakes Basin.  The ten projects funded will provide $4,107,067 in non-federal partner match contributions.

“The diversity of these projects will allow for a broad range of benefits to fish and wildlife resources across the Great Lakes Basin,” said Tom Melius, Midwest Regional Director.  The projects include improving walleye spawning in Lake Erie, restoring waterfowl habitat and fish passage in Michigan, conserving freshwater mussels, and other conservation research projects that will benefit Great Lakes reptiles and fish.

The Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act is the primary fed­eral program dedicated to restoring important fish and wildlife and the habitat they depend on in the Great Lakes region. Funding for the Act was increased by $8 million through President Obama’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) in 2010.  The Act promotes cooperative conservation, and restoration and management of native fish and wildlife resources and their habitat in the Great Lakes Basin among states, tribes, other interested entities and the Service.

“The project funded by the Act will enable our organization to make a significant impact on improving fishery habitat in several watersheds in northwestern Michigan,” said Amy Beyer, Executive Director of the Conservation Resources Alliance.  The Service has been a great federal partner in achieving our joint goals for improved fisheries habitat.”

Since 1998 the Restoration Act has provided $13.6 million dollars in federal funding to 110 restoration projects, which when combined with required matching funds equates to $21.3 million worth of benefits to Great Lakes fish, wildlife and the habitats they depend on.  More than 70 organizations have contributed nearly $7.7 million in matching non-federal partner support. 

“The timing of the Act funded projects in our two waterfowl areas is ideal and will greatly assist the state of Michigan in maintaining these critical waterfowl production areas,” says Russ Mason, Wildlife Chief for Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

Projects approved for funding include:

River Care : A Framework for Restoring Stream Connectivity and Habitat in the Upper Great Lakes – Conservation Resource Alliance, Michigan ($750,000).  The project represents the first two years of a multi-phase initiative to restore connectivity of over 600 miles, and improve habitat in over 5,000 miles of the highest quality streams (including the Manistee, Black, Maple, Betsie, Pere Marquette, and Jordan rivers) feeding the Great Lakes.

Shiawasse Flats Wildlife and Fish Habitat Restoration – Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment ($589,119).  The project will restore and improve water level management on approximately 3,700 acres, and increase water quality throughout the watershed which will improve the ecological health of Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. 

Assessing Wetland Change in the Great Lakes – Ducks Unlimited, Michigan ($112,500).
  Ducks Unlimited will use existing National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) information to provide a detailed assessment of wetland change (type and cause) by watershed and by state Bird Conservation Region for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. 

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus:  Disease Ecology and an Analysis of the Risks in the Great Lakes Basin – Michigan State University ($230,724).  The research project will generate a more complete understanding of VHSV dynamics by intensively studying a system where a major VHSV outbreak occurred.  
First Phase Removal of the Ballville Dam, Sandusky River Tributary to Lake Erie – Ohio Department of Natural Resources ($2,000,000).  Removal of the Ballville Dam will restore natural hydrological processes over a 40 mile stretch of the Sandusky River, a tributary to Lake Erie and open up fish passage to 22 miles of new habitat. 

Assessment of Lake Sturgeon Restoration Efforts in Green Bay, Lake Michigan – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ($118,276).  The project will describe the stock structure of Green Bay lake sturgeon populations; examine spawning river fidelity and movement for spawning stocks along Green Bay’s large west shore tributaries: develop genotypic assignments for a subsample of adult sturgeon; and determine current spawning adult abundance to examine recent trends.

Quantifying Genetic, Phenotypic, and Reproductive Differences of Siscowet and Lean Lake Trout Reared in a Controlled Environment – Great Lakes Water Institute, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee ($79,865).  The research project will determine differences in length, weight, morphometry, lipid levels and lipid composition in lean and siscowet forms of lake trout reared under the same hatchery conditions; determine the timing of first reproduction and fecundity in cultured leans and siscowets; determine differences in gene expression in muscle and liver between cultured leans and siscowets and develop antibody to C1q-protein 2.

Conservation of Native Freshwater Mussel Refuges in Great Lakes Coastal Zones – Central Michigan University ($381,168).  The project will assess known coastal and nearshore unionid refuges in the lower Great Lakes to describe existing unionid diversity, habitat characteristics, and prioritize areas for conservation and management; and identify additional potential refuges and develop management recommendations to state and federal agencies to protect and conserve unionid communities in coastal refuges. 

Pointe Mouillee Coastal Wetland Restoration and Dike Rehabilitation - Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment ($489,838).  The habitat restoration project will directly protect, restore, and enhance 1,978 acres of wetlands and add to the wetland ecosystem on the overall 4,040 acres of state game area, providing habitat for migratory birds and allowing improved control of invasive species, such as phragmites and purple loosestrife.   

Predicting Climate-change Induced Distributional Shifts in Great Lakes Region Reptiles – Northern Illinois University ($34,755).  The research project will determine the degree to which reptile distributions in the Great Lakes Region are associated with climatic variables; identify the projected future location of climatically suitable areas under exiting climate change projection; and prioritize species and associated management, research, and policy actions.

For more information on the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act, including how to apply for funding, please visit

For more information on the Service’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funded projects, please visit


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Last updated: June 15, 2016