Conservation Resource Alliance
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Great Lakes Restoration Dollars in Northern Michigan

January 31, 2014

TRAVERSE CITY, MI– 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, a local conservation nonprofit, couldn’t be happier this funding was approved.

Executive Director Amy Beyer said, “We have completed many great projects right here in Northern Michigan with GLRI funds since 2010 and we’re underway with several more. They include replacing aging road/stream crossings with new bridges, removing failing dams and enhancing stream and wildlife habitat.”

Beyer noted how these projects are not just a benefit to the environment but have a huge impact on our communities through improved transportation and recreation, “We focus on the big picture – we go after projects that are going to create jobs, improve the community as a whole and keep our rivers and wildlife healthy.”

Beyer mentioned the Flowing Well restoration project in Kalkaska County as an example. The 1,720-acre property, now owned by the State of Michigan, was restored over the last five years. After the removal of 12 small dams, demolition of dilapidated buildings and native plant restoration, the property is now a popular site for birders and recreationists. It involved more than a dozen local contractors and infused nearly a million dollars into the local economy.

Vickie Smith, owner and operator of Wildlife and Wetlands Solutions, a restoration contractor based in Traverse City, felt the impact of GLRI dollars in Northern Michigan noting, “Thanks to Conservation Resource Alliance’s work at Flowing Well, we had the perfect opportunity to bridge a gap in work availability. They were flexible and allowed us to fit restoration work in during the summer-to-fall transition and kept our employees at full-time during a difficult season.”

Conservation Resource Alliance’s habitat restoration projects have received GLRI funding from the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act, Sustain Our Great Lakes Program, the National Fish Passage Program, and the Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership. Funds are distributed through a competitive grant process and usually require local or state matching funds of 25-100%. Beyer noted none of these projects would have been possible without local support and partners like the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Michigan DNR, and the Huron-Manistee National Forests.

 


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Conservation Resource Alliance

Bayview Professional Centre
10850 Traverse Highway, Suite 1180
Traverse City, MI 49684
231-946-6817 info@rivercare.org

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