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NOAA Fisheries Announces Nearly $1 Million in Funding to Restore Habitat in Great Lakes

September 17, 2015

Contact: Julie Sims, 734-741-2385

NOAA has selected three projects, through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), totaling nearly $1 million, to restore habitat in severely degraded areas of the Great Lakes

Funded projects are in Michigan and Ohio. They will benefit a variety of important local fish stock, including important spawning and nursery grounds for muskellunge, northern pike, pumpkinseed sunfish, largemouth bass, yellow perch, channel catfish, and bullhead. This funding builds on years of investment in the Great Lakes to restore waterways threatened by poor water quality, contaminated fish, and other environmental concerns.

NOAA's Restoration Center targets habitat conservation where it's needed it most. We provide funding and technical guidance to restore coastal habitat nationwide. In the Great Lakes, we focus on restoring the most degraded environments--designated "Areas of Concern"--as well as reversing the environmental damages resulting from oil spills, and chemical releases.

"Great Lakes communities deserve a clean and healthy environment and these projects will help restore Great Lakes Areas of Concern," said Pat Montanio, Director of NOAA's Office of Habitat Conservation. "This work shows how the GLRI is making a difference for communities across the region."

NOAA's investment in the effort to restore aquatic habitat is part of a long-term effort to rebuild fisheries, many of which have declined from habitat loss, over-fishing and climate change. Recent successes show that restoring habitat is a way not only to stop the decline of fish populations, but also to regrow them to historic high numbers.

Funded Projects: 

Maumee River Wetland Restoration at Penn 7 Project

Toledo, OH ($175,000 awarded to the City of Toledo)

Funding will support initial site characterization and feasibility study on the lower Maumee River to determine the restoration potential of 15.2 acres of emergent coastal/floodplain wetland habitat at the Penn 7 property site.

Rouge River - Henry Ford Estate Dam Fish Passage and Habitat Restoration Design Project

Dearborn, MI ($350,000 awarded to the Alliance of Rouge Communities)

Experts will determine the appropriate design to hydrologically reconnect 50 miles of the Rouge River and 108 additional miles of its tributaries to the Great Lakes system. Once implemented, this project will improve fish and wildlife habitat to promote healthy populations of desirable native fish, wildlife and bottom-dwelling organisms within the Rouge River Watershed.

Detroit River - Stony Island Habitat Restoration Project

Detroit, MI ($415,605 awarded to Friends of the Detroit River)

This is a multi-year project supporting the restoration of approximately 3,000 linear feet of habitat shoals, creation and protection of 50 acres of backwater habitat within Stony Island. This implementation project is a major step in completing a habitat re-construction among the islands in the lower part of the Detroit River.

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NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.