Conservation Resource Alliance
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Category: Press Releases
River Care Kids Clean Up the Manistee
For the 17th consecutive year, CRA worked alongside over 80 kids from Kaleva Norman Dickson Elementary School to clean up the shores of the Manistee River along the heavily used fishing access site at Tippy Dam.
2018 Seedling Give-A-Way for Donors
We’d like to say thank you for being a CRA supporter with our annual free seedling give-a-way. Anyone who has made a donation to CRA in the last year is eligible. Orders will be taken while supplies last. We have a limited number of free seedlings – early reservations are encouraged. Seedlings must be ordered in bundles of 25* with a limit of 50 of any one species. Limit 150 total seedlings per household.
Robinson Road Timber Bridge Celebration

Pellston, Michigan - Community members, partners, funders and the Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) will gather to celebrate the new timber bridge on Robinson Road, marking another step forward on the Free Span the Maple Initiative’s goal for 100% stream connectivity – a rare and challenging opportunity. The celebration will take place on Friday, May 5, 2:00-3:00 pm on Robinson Road at the West Branch of the Maple River (location). All are welcome to join the celebration and RSVPs are requested to Bethany Bucklew at or by calling 231-946-6817. 

The Boardman: A River Reborn Rallies Support
Traverse City, MI – Partners are rallying support for a very big two years on the Boardman River including the removal of Boardman Dam this year and the removal of Sabin Dam in 2018. Rotary Charities of Traverse City is leading efforts to engage private investments for Sabin Dam removal through foundation grants, private donations and other non- public sources. As a result, partners are pleased to share the announcement of two new major grants to support the removal of Sabin Dam, the third dam targeted in The Boardman: A River Reborn.
Public Open House - Chestonia Bridge over Jordan River
East Jordan, Michigan – Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) is hosting a public open house on Monday, March 6, 2017 from 4-7 pm at the Community Auditorium of East Jordan High School at 101 Maple Street, East Jordan, MI 49727. MDNR staff will be on hand to provide information and gather input regarding the preliminary, conceptual design of a future recreational access at the Chestonia Bridge site where Old State Road crosses the Jordan River.
Construction Set for Chestonia Bridge on the Jordan River
Mancelona, Michigan - Chestonia Bridge over the Jordan River at Old State Road & Cokirs Creek Box Culvert Crossing to Begin! Antrim County Road Commission (ACRC) will begin construction of a new Chestonia Bridge on Old State Rd over the Jordan River on February 27, 2017. This project will require a portion of the road be closed to all traffic. A detour route will be signed. Traffic can expect to resume use of this portion of Old State Road in early July 2017, with the exact date to be posted on the ACRC website.
DTE Energy Foundation and CRA partner to impact the sustainability of Northern Michigan Waterways
The DTE Energy Foundation announced a grant of $150,000 to the Traverse City-based Conservation Resource Alliance’s (CRA) River Care program that will help build bridges, remove barriers, improve aquatic habitat and enhance recreational access to northwest Michigan waterways over the next three years.
CRA Welcomes Kevin Gay to Board of Directors
Conservation Resource Alliance is pleased to announce the addition of Kevin Gay to its Board of Directors. Kevin joins the Board following retirement from his role as Executive Vice President of Three Rivers Corporation in Midland, MI in 2015.
Northern Michigan Watersheds Receive Big Boost from Michigan DNR Grants
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has approved six Aquatic Habitat Grant Program projects totaling $1.25 million. This is the third round of projects since the program began in 2014. It is funded annually by a portion of fishing and hunting license sales. Traverse City based Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) has been awarded two of the grant awards from the current funding cycle, $430,000 for their Free Span the Maple River Initiative in Emmet County, and $200,000 for the Bridging the Jordan River Restoration Project in Antrim County.
Nature Change – Conversations About Conservation and Climate
If most of the ash trees are dead, beech trees are dying and new pests are approaching Michigan’s hemlock and maple trees, what will our northern forests look like in the years ahead? Will the changing climate affect what grows to replace the lost trees? And how does all this change impact the birds and animals that populate the beautiful landscapes of northwest lower Michigan?

These are topics that all of us in northwest lower Michigan need to think and talk about. And that’s why six of the region’s leading conservation nonprofits have banded together to launch a new on-line, multimedia magazine called Nature Change – Conversations About Conservation and Climate.

Regional Conservation Partnership Program
Funds from the Farm Bill’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program are coming to Northern Michigan to improve water quality and protect wildlife habitat. A collaborative led by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians was recently awarded $7.9 million that will be matched 1:1 to bring innovative approaches connecting key Farm Bill programs with locally-designed conservation work.
Grand Traverse Band Invests in Conservation
The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians has long been committed to the protection and enhancement of our natural resources and environment. The tribe recently gave a big boost to CRA’s River Care program through a $50,000 award as part of their 2% Revenue Sharing program. The funding comes from their video gaming revenue and is given out twice yearly.
DamNation Hitting Theaters Near You

CRA would like to share two special opportunities to view an exceptional film. DamNation is a powerful film exploring the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers.

Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds, after decades without access. The film’s majestic cinematography and unexpected discoveries move through rivers and landscapes altered by dams, but also through a metamorphosis in values, from conquest of the natural world to knowing ourselves as part of nature.

Sustain Our Great Lakes Awards $1.5M in Grant Funding to Boardman River Dams & Restoration Project
By Chuck Lombardo, CML Marketing Communications,, 231-922-6782

Traverse City, MI – The Conservation Resource Alliance has been awarded $1.5 million in grant funding from Sustain Our Great Lakes (SOGL) for the Boardman River Dams Restoration Project. Funds will be used for ongoing dam removal and restoration work on the Boardman River, including the removal of Boardman and Sabin Dams and modification of Union Street Dam.

$3 Million Restoration Effort - Free Spanning the Maple River

Traverse City, MI - Tucked away near the tip of the mitt is a gem of a river that conservation partners are working hard to improve. The Maple River is a clear, coldwater trout stream that locals love, with good reason. But, like most northern rivers, historic logging, agricultural practices, and transportation development have left an impact over the last century. Conservation Resource Alliance, a nonprofit serving 15 northern Michigan counties, is leading restoration efforts and recently received a major boost with a $558,000 grant through Sustain Our Great Lakes, a program administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Sustain Our Great Lakes Program Announces $12 Million in Grants for Great Lakes Restoration
By Todd Hogrefe, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation 612-564-7286 or 612-716-4089

Grand Rapids, MI–Today, Sustain Our Great Lakes partners announced 31 projects selected by the program to receive nearly $12 million in grant funding for ecological restoration in the Great Lakes basin. With a focus on improving the quality and connectivity of stream, wetland and coastal habitats, this investment will help protect, restore and enhance the ecological integrity of the Great Lakes and surrounding region. Grant recipients will match the new grant funding with an additional $11 million, for a total on-the-ground impact of $23 million.

River Care™ Kids Clean Up at Tippy Dam

Traverse City, MI - Over 75 elementary school children hit the trails and stream banks to clean up trash along the heavily used fishing access at Tippy Dam on the Manistee River on June 9. This was the thirteenth consecutive year for the event that is part of Kaleva Norman Dickson Elementary School’s Earth Day activities and is coordinated by the Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) and supported by the Consumers Energy Foundation and the Michigan Fly Fishing Club.

Boardman River Dams & Restoration Project Named to National List of Fish Conservation Projects
By Chuck Lombardo,CML Marketing Communications,, (231) 922-6782      

2014 “Waters to Watch” Provide Eye to the Future of Fish Conservation

Traverse City, MI  – The National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP) has included the Boardman River Dams & Restoration Project (BRDRP) on its 2014 list of rivers, streams, estuaries, lakes and watershed systems that will benefit from strategic conservation efforts to protect, restore or enhance their current condition.  The BRDRP is one of only ten projects across the nation named to the 2014 list.

American Rivers Honors Jim Schramm

American Rivers, a river conservation organization based in Washington D.C., recently honored 40 river champions as part of the group’s 40th anniversary. Jim Schramm, a true advocate for Michigan’s rivers, was among those recognized. Other honorees include President Jimmy Carter and Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard.

Great Lakes Restoration Dollars in Northern Michigan

Good news came for the Great Lakes and Northern Michigan with the announcement that the fiscal year 2014 spending bill contains $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). Conservation Resource Alliance couldn’t be happier this funding was approved.

Top 10 of 2013

Staff recently reflected on the last year of work and we came up with a 2013 ‘Top 10’ list of memorable moments and milestones. From trudging through thick alder stands in chest-high water to witnessing the sunset over Lake Michigan on the sand dunes, we saw many unforgettable scenes here in Northern Michigan.

CRA Receives Forest Service Award

CRA recently accepted the Regional Forester Honor Award from the U.S. Forest Service for our role in restoration work on the Pere Marquette and Pine Rivers.

Conservation Partner of the Year

Saving Birds Thru Habitat Executive Director Kay Charter recently recognized Eric Ellis as the Conservation Partner of the Year. Eric has been a Habitat Wildlife Biologist for CRA since 2007. Over the years, he and Charter have worked on a variety of conservation projects.

Pere Marquette and Pine River Road Crossings Improvement Project

In 2009, the US Forest Service awarded Conservation Resource Alliance and the Lake County Road Commission grants totaling $1,100,000 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. An additional $650,565 in match and grants was raised and led to the completion 8 stream restoration projects. The focus was replacing and improving road/stream crossings in Lake County in the Pere Marquette and Pine River watersheds.

Tenth Anniversary River Care Kids Clean Up

Over 80 elementary school children will help to clean up trash along the heavily used fishing access at Tippy Dam on the Manistee River. The clean up will take place on Tuesday May 22, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. along the north and south sides of the river at the Dam.

Permit Applications Submitted for Interim Drawdown of Brown Bridge & Sabin Dam Impoundments

Brown Bridge Dam is the first of three dams that will be removed on the Boardman River. Drawdown at Brown Bridge is expected to begin after the receipt of the interim drawdown permit by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). Pending permit approval, drawdown at Brown Bridge Pond could begin in late summer or fall 2011. MDEQ has 90 days to respond to the permit application. Any citizen may request a public hearing on the permit application prior to MDEQ approval. Deconstruction of Brown Bridge Dam is scheduled to begin in 2012.

Manistee River, Michigan Named “Water To Watch” For 2011

The National Fish Habitat Action Plan ( has unveiled the 2011 10 “Waters to Watch” list, a collection of rivers, streams, estuaries , watershed systems and shores that will benefit from strategic conservation efforts to protect, restore or enhance their current condition.

Coalition to Congress: Don’t Cut Successful Great Lakes Programs that Protect Drinking Water, Uphold Public Health, Create Jobs

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition today called on the U.S. Congress to maintain funding for successful Great Lakes programs that protect drinking water, safeguard public health, create jobs and uphold a way of life for millions of people.

Charlevoix County Watersheds to Benefit from Local Foundation Grant

The Charlevoix County Community Foundation has awarded the Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) an $8,000 grant to incorporate all of the road/stream crossing inventory data for the Lake Charlevoix watershed into the existing web-based “River Restoration in Northwest Michigan” site ( This GIS database, designed by CRA and Land Information Access Association (LIAA), includes the framework for an interactive and updateable tool for tracking sediment input at sites throughout 15 counties in northwest Michigan.

River Care Kids Clean Up at Tippy Dam

Over 120 elementary school children helped clean up trash along the heavily used fishing access at Tippy Dam on the Manistee River. The clean up took place on May 25 along the north and south sides of the river at the Dam. This is the eighth year for the event that is part of Wellston Elementary School’s Earth Day activities and is supported by the Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) and the Consumers Energy Foundation.

Arcadia Marsh Watershed to Benefit from Restoration Grant

The Traverse City based Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) teamed up with project partners Ducks Unlimited (grant applicant and recipient), the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, and the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy to obtain a grant award of $783,823 through the Sustain Our Great Lakes (SOGL) program. SOGL is a public-private program designed to achieve ecological and habitat restoration goals developed through the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration. SOGL is coordinated by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and funded by ArcelorMittal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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Conservation Resource Alliance

Bayview Professional Centre
10850 Traverse Highway, Suite 1180
Traverse City, MI 49684