Conservation Resource Alliance
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Nationally Competitive Watershed Grant Awarded to Grand Traverse Band for River Care Work

October 16, 2008

The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians is the recent recipient of an $823,500 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency through the Targeted Watershed Grant Program. The Band will be partnering with the Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) to complete 5 water quality and habitat improvement projects in Benzie County over the next 3-5 years. Project locations include the Betsie River - a State Designated Natural River, the Platte River - a Blue Ribbon Trout stream, and Otter Creek - an undeveloped brook trout stream completely included within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Sediment is the primary pollutant of concern in these watersheds. On-the-ground River Care projects will include timber bridge construction, bank stabilization, recreational access work, small dam removal & other road/stream crossing improvements. Tribal Inland Fisheries Biologist, Brett Fessell, will also coordinate a brook trout study on Otter Creek to track size, habits and potential anadromy of the Creek’s brook trout population. The entire effort will span the next 3 to 5 years and will include site specific monitoring to track instream changes resulting from construction improvements. Brett Fessell comments, “One of the Tribe’s underlying goals is to enhance or restore native fisheries where feasible; this funding will allow for significant progress towards that end.” CRA will raise $274,500 in match in the form of donations and in-kind labor for the overall project.

In addition to the Band and CRA, project partners include the Benzie County Road Commission, Pine River Area and Adams Chapters of Trout Unlimited, Platte Lake Improvement Association, Platte River Watershed Council, Benzie Conservation District, National Park Service, Betsie River Restoration Committee, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

If you are interested in contributing towards the project or learning more detailed information please contact CRA at (231) 946-6817, or via e-mail at info@rivercare.org.


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Conservation Resource Alliance

Bayview Professional Centre
10850 Traverse Highway, Suite 1180
Traverse City, MI 49684
231-946-6817

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