Midwest Region


July 1, 2014

Mark Holey, 920-866-1720
Brian Elkington 612-713-5168
Katie Steiger-Meister, 612-713-5317

Service Awards More Than $1.8 million for Fish and Wildlife Restoration in the Great Lakes Basin  

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today more than $1.8 million in federal funding has been awarded under the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act grant program to restore sustainable populations of fish and wildlife resources, and their habitats, in the Great Lakes Basin. The one regional project and six research and restoration grant projects funded will provide almost $1.45 million 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 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region Director Tom Melius.

The projects include improving stream connectivity in the Boardman River Watershed in northern Michigan, restoration of wetland habitat through control of invasive species and planting, mudpuppy research and habitat restoration in the Huron-Erie Corridor, research on spawning reef habitat in the Great Lakes, and working to restore fish and wildlife habitats in the Western Lake Erie Basin.

“Wetlands around Western Lake Erie supply habitat for waterfowl and wildlife, but they also improve water quality and provide recreation for local residents,” said Director of Ducks Unlimited Great Lakes/Atlantic Region David Brakhage. “The Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act is designed to develop and expand partnerships between states, tribes, local governments and federal agencies, and this particular grant is an illustration of how much impact those partnerships can provide.”

Through the Act, more than $20.9 million dollars in federal funding has been used to fund 138 restoration projects since 1998. When combined with required matching funds, this equates to more than $31.5 million worth of benefits to Great Lakes fish, wildlife and their habitats. More than 75 organizations have contributed more than $10.6 million in matching non-federal partner support.

“We are pleased to see this range of work receive funding from the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act,” said Director of Michigan Department of Natural Resources Keith Creagh. “Projects like these will contribute to better management of Michigan’s world-class natural resources and provide valuable information that will benefit our regional partners.”

Projects awarded funds:

Regional Project:
Restoring Fish & Wildlife Habitat and Improving Water Quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin – Phase I
Ducks Unlimited - $560,397
Submitted by Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Ohio Department of Natural Resources. A partnership of five conservation organizations will address the loss of fish and wildlife habitat and impaired water quality in Lake Erie by restoring at least 344 acres of coastal and interior wetlands and establishing at least 150 acres of native warm season grasses.

Grant Projects:
Boardman River – Dam Removal #2 and Lamprey Management Feasibility Study
Conservation Resource Alliance - $500,000
Remove the Boardman Dam and restore the associated river and corridor habitat, reconnecting 12.5 miles of stream for fish passage,

Arcadia Marsh Habitat Restoration Project
Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy - $74,427
Invasive species control at Arcadia Marsh Preserve while testing mechanical and mechanical/chemical hybrid treatments on previously untreated area. Also work to establish additional wild rice locations by collecting and sowing wild rice from site.

Quantification of Wetland – Offshore Interconnectedness Using Stable Isotope and Trace Element Otolith Analysis
Institute for Great Lakes Research, Central Michigan University - $132,942
Quantify the importance of wetlands as sources of (1) energy and (2) habitat to fish communities using stable isotope and otolith microchemistry analysis.

Mudpuppy Assessment and Habitat Restoration Along the Huron-Erie Corridor: Conservation for the Obligate Host for the Endangered Salamander Mussel
Herpetological Resource and Management, LLC - $139,852
This project will evaluate mudpuppy distribution, health, and genetic structure along the Huron-Erie Corridor to determine the effects of restoration, habitat fragmentation, contamination, as well as restore habitat.

Lyons Dam Removal and Grand River Habitat Restoration
Ionia Conservation District - $200,000
Remove the Lyons Dam on the Grand River and restore high gradient habitat using natural channel design concepts that will provide long-term channel stability, reconnecting 16 miles of river.

Saginaw Bay Spawning Reefs – Pre-Restoration Assessment
Purdue University - $232,732
The project will assess the status of reef spawning habitat and potential restoration sites in Saginaw Bay, targeting spring walleye and fall lake whitefish spawning events.

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