Sustain Our Great Lakes Awards $6.9 Million for Ecological Restoration

Sustain Our Great Lakes Awards $6.9 Million for Ecological Restoration

Sustain Our Great Lakes, a public-private partnership administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, has announced grants totaling $6.9 million in support of twenty-five ecological restoration projects across the Great Lakes basin.

The grants will support efforts to sustain, restore, and protect fish, wildlife, and habitats in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, and the Canadian province of Ontario, including restoring coastal wetland habitats, improving the quality and connectivity of streams for native fish species, restoring wetland hydrology, improving nearshore health and water quality through green stormwater infrastructure projects, and reducing sedimentation and nutrient runoff. Funds awarded through the partnership will support efforts to restore more than five miles of stream and riparian habitats; reopen more than a hundred miles of river for fish passage; remove or rectify twenty barriers to aquatic organism passage; control invasive plant species on eighty-seven hundred acres of wetland, upland, and riparian habitats; restore seventy acres of coastal wetland habitat; annually prevent more than a hundred and twenty tons of sediment from entering waterways; add twenty million gallons of stormwater storage capacity; and install nearly a hundred thousand square feet of green stormwater infrastructure. The funds also are expected to leverage approximately $8.1 million in additional support.

With support from ArcelorMittal, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the partnership seeks to advance the objectives of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a federal program designed to protect, restore, and enhance the Great Lakes ecosystem.

"The grants awarded today by Sustain Our Great Lakes serve as an outstanding example of how public-private partnerships can amplify ecological impact at a regional scale for birds, fish, and other wildlife and communities [in] the Great Lakes region," said NFWF executive director and CEO Jeff Trandahl. "The program continued to enhance its strategies this year through the addition of an invasive species control focus area, to most effectively and efficiently address the region’s most critical conservation challenges."

For a complete list of grant recipients, see the NFWF website.