2011 Grant Recipients

In 2011, the Healing Our Water-Great Lakes Coalition awarded $133,000 in grants to 11 organizations to jump-start restoration projects on each of the Great Lakes. Grant projects and recipients include:

Habitat Restoration Projects

Project Title: Community Supported Engineering/Feasibility Study for Removal of Owosso Dam
Applicant:  Friends of the Shiawassee River
Priority Area: Saginaw Bay
HOW Award: $14,180
Project Summary:
The Shiawassee River provides habitat for 59 fish species, many of which migrate to and from Saginaw Bay.  Since modification of the Chesaning Dam, fish can now migrate through Chesaning and upstream to the Owosso Dam. No provisions have been made for fish passage at Owosso, effectively isolating upstream aquatic populations and eliminating more than five miles of river to migratory fish.  HOW funding will allow the Friends of the Shiawassee River to engage the community and partners to determine the feasibility of removing Owosso Dam and to develop a conceptual design to restore free-flowing conditions and historic fish migration routes.

Project Title: Initiative to Protect GLRI Investments in Stream Restoration
Applicant: Community Action Duluth
Priority Area: St. Louis Bay and River
HOW Award: $15,000
Project Summary:
The Duluth Stream Corps is a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative-funded program that works with private riparian landowners to complete coldwater stream restoration projects in and around Duluth, MN, advancing the delisting of the St. Louis River AOC. Included in this work will be the planting of 20,000 native trees, many of which cannot be established without fencing due to high white-tailed deer and rabbit populations. HOW funding will be crucial to the success of this project, and will be used to help purchase tree protection materials and subsidize this cost for involved landowners. Providing protection materials will result in significantly increased survival rates of vulnerable tree species and an increase in the number of landowners involved in the project.

Project Title: Waukegan/Bowen Park Massive Storm Damage Clean-Up – Glen Flora Ravine/Pike-Root Watershed
Applicant: Waukegan Harbor Citizens’ Advisory Group
Priority Area: Chicago Land
HOW Award: $10,000
Project Summary:
The CAG is working with the Waukegan Park District (WPD), the landowner, on a project to help them arrange to clear severely storm damaged woodland paths in Priority Area 1 of Bowen Park, one of the highest quality natural areas located in the Pike-Root Watershed of Lake Michigan.  This work needs to be completed to move forward with habitat restoration activities funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Project Title: Detroit River Area of Concern/GLRI Project Support
Applicant: Friends of the Detroit River
Priority Area: Western Lake Erie
HOW Award: $8,000
Project Summary:
The Friends of the Detroit River (FDR) has been actively involved in managing the project activities within the Detroit River Area of Concern for nearly 10 years.  Recently, FDR was awarded three GLRI grants from the EPA to address three habitat projects directly affecting the conditions within the Detroit River.  These three habitat projects include:  1) US Steel shoreline and shoal habitat development; 2) Belle Isle Blue Heron Lagoon habitat development; and 3) Belle Isle South Fishing Pier habitat development.  These three projects are currently in the design phase and are expected to enter into the construction phase in 2012. HOW funds will be used to cover staff labor and other expenses associated with these activities that cannot be directly assigned to existing GLRI grants.

Nearshore Health Projects

Project Title: Prioritization of Best Management Practices for Improving Water Quality in Sodus Bay
Applicant: Save our Sodus, Inc
Priority Area: Eastern Lake Ontario
HOW Award: $14,500
Project Summary:
Sodus Bay, NY, located in eastern Lake Ontario, suffers from aquatic weeds and toxic blue-green algae blooms.  These inhibit the recreational use of the bay and have a negative economic impact on the surrounding communities.  An EPA-sponsored management plan identified phosphorus from the surrounding watershed as the key contributor to these problems and suggested several possible remediation actions. HOW funds will be used to hire two interns to work with various partners to update the nutrient loading information, and to prioritize these best management practices so as to identify the most cost effective approach to preventing phosphorus from entering the Bay.  

Project Title: Salmon Creek Watershed Restoration
Applicant: Center for Environmental Information
Priority Area: Eastern Lake Ontario
HOW Award: $14,820
Project Summary:
Residents, visitors, fisherman and boaters who use Salmon Creek and the Pultneyville Harbor cannot access these valuable resources to the extent they want due in part to eutrophication and e-coli contamination.  HOW funding will allow the Center for Environmental Information to complete the nutrient/pathogen source quantification partially developed in 2010.  This source quantification will enable the Salmon Creek Watershed Coordinating Committee to prioritize their watershed restoration strategy and move forward in identifying opportunities for restoration work.

Nonpoint Source Pollution Projects

Project Title: Rifle River Watershed Restoration Project
Applicant: Huron Pines 
Priority Area: Saginaw Bay
HOW Award: $10,000
Project Summary:
In 2010, Huron Pines received $382,000 of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding to complete a 3 year project in the Rifle River watershed. The overall goal of the project is to reduce sediment and nutrient pollution entering the river. Water quality and wildlife habitat threats will be identified and high impact best management practices will be implemented at priority sites. The project’s holistic approach will identify tangible threats -failing road/stream crossings, small dams, invasive species – and gaps in environmental stewardship and outreach programming. Various partners will collaborate to prioritize on-the-ground projects and develop conservation capacity building programs, generating long-term support for watershed protection. In particular, funding from HOW will allow Huron Pines to build on its work in 2010 and increase capacity for conservation in Northeast Michigan by providing the resources to develop a strong volunteer base, as well as providing the organization with an increased ability to dedicate more time and effort to pairing the right partners and volunteers with the best projects.

Project Title: Phosphorus/Nitrate Removal by Tile Bioreactor(s) Demonstration Project/Field Day
Applicant:  Western Lake Erie Waterkeeper Association
Priority Area: Western Lake Erie
HOW Award: $15,000
Project Summary: 
Soluble reactive phosphorous (SRP) and nitrate runoff from agriculture with subsurface drains (tiles), has helped fuel explosive cyano-bacterial growth in Western Lake Erie. Drain tile bio-reactors in Illinois have reduced nitrate concentrations before drainage water enters streams.  Pretreatment techniques allow removal of SRP from drain water also. HOW funding will allow one to two drain tile bio-reactors with pre-treatment to be installed in Lucas County, Ohio this year. Water samples will be collected pre- and post-treatment after rainfall events to demonstrate nutrient removal and concentration reductions. A Field day and workshop planned for the summer of 2012 will announce/educate success of this new technology. Implementing a demonstration project of this kind will allow Western Lake Erie Waterkeeper Association and its partners to apply for general GLRI dollars in the next funding cycle.  
 
Invasive Species Control Projects

Project Title: Wild Rice Restoration Feasibility Study in Saginaw Bay
Applicant: Great Lakes Lifeways Institute
Priority Area: Saginaw Bay
HOW Award: $10,000
Project Summary:
The communities in Bay, Arenac, Tuscola, and Huron (BATH) Counties have teamed together to conduct an invasive species control project on public lands in Saginaw Bay. Replacing invasive phragmites beds with wild rice beds would be extremely beneficial to both the Saginaw Bay ecosystem and the general public. The first step in restoring wild rice in Saginaw Bay and associated coastal marshes is to conduct a feasibility study so that a sound restoration plan can be developed. Funding from HOW will allow Great Lakes Lifeways Institute to conduct the feasibility study for restoration of wild rice at identified sites, which have been displaced by invasive phragmites.

Project Title: Phragmites control in Western Lake Erie Coastal Wetlands
Applicant: Winous Point Marsh Conservancy
Priority Area: Western Lake Erie
HOW Award: $10,000
Project Summary:
Members of the Lake Erie Cooperative Weed Management Area have been working collaboratively over the last three years to control invasive Phragmites australis in western Lake Erie. Accomplishments will include over 2,000 acres of treatment by the end of 2011, fire/mechanized treatments in dead stands, follow-up herbicide treatments, and reseeding. HOW funding will support staff time on the project to further strengthen the planning of phragmites treatments by developing a GIS-based decision support tool from existing and yet-to-be collected data. This tool will aid by effectively directing future management efforts, tracking previous treatments and their efficacy, and demonstrating the need for additional funding and management.

Contaminated Sediment Removal and Habitat Restoration Projects

Project Title: St. Louis River Area of Concern GLRI Projects Support
Applicant: St. Louis River Alliance
Priority Area: St. Louis Bay and River
HOW Award: $11,500
Project Summary:
HOW funding will allow the St. Louis River Alliance to secure needed administrative staff support and to complete outreach activities associated with its work involving several Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funded projects.  These on the ground restoration projects, located within the St Louis River AOC, have been funded or have received preliminary funding approval from the USFWS and NOAA. They include restoring fish and wildlife habitat and increasing fish and wildlife populations within the St Louis River Estuary.  The Alliance’s work will include providing public outreach, engaging stewardship efforts and promoting the benefits of these restoration projects to community leaders as well as key decision-makers.

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