The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition’s 10th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference is happening next week—September 9-11—in Grand Rapids, Mich. The conference is a place for more than 300 Great Lakes advocates and stakeholders, including representatives of business, industry, academia and city, state and federal agencies to gather to celebrate the accomplishments of and discuss the threats facing the Great Lakes. Prior to the conference, we have gathered success stories from the greater Grand Rapids area that showcase the restoration work being done throughout the region. You can view a slideshow of all restoration success stories out of Michigan here.
New Map Allows Communities to Visualize Green Infrastructure and Ecosystem Resources
Communities living along the lower Grand River watershed can now make green infrastructure plans—projects like adding rain gardens or restoring small streams—more strategically. The Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds (LGROW) has just published a new map, showing where these projects would be most beneficial and where green infrastructure already exists in the watershed. Read more here.
Huge Increase in Trout Attributed to Habitat Habitat Restoration
The Coldwater River outside of Grand Rapids, Mich. has seen a 38-fold increase in trout in the river since 2009. The Schrems West Michigan council of Trout Unlimited placed tree trunks strategically throughout the Coldwater River to provide improved habitat for trout. Read more here.
Native Habitat Restored for Fen on the Kalamazoo River
The Kalamazoo River—like many other tributaries to Lake Michigan—benefits from healthy wetland areas along its banks. Now, fens (a kind of wetland) along the Kalamazoo River are being restored, to provide habitat for native species, filtration services for the river, and to reduce the presence of invasive species. Read more here.
Muskegon Lake Area Uses Trees to Clean Up Polluted Soil
Muskegon Lake, Mich. was once designated one of the 43 most polluted areas throughout the Great Lakes. Much progress has been made to restore the lake and the area around it, including the work being done by newly planted poplar trees. These trees grow quickly and absorb contaminants in the soil, helping to clean up the brownfield site while also providing ground cover to prevent erosion. Read more here.
Removing the Nashville Dam Restores Fish Populations on the Thornapple River
The Nashville Dam from the Thornapple River was built in the 1850’s to power a sawmill. However, the dam was decreasing water quality and impeding the natural flow of the river. In 2011, the outdated dam was removed. Fish like bass and walleye have returned to the river, providing new fishing and recreation opportunities for residents and visitors. Read more here.