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Northern Michigan Watersheds Receive Big Boost from Michigan DNR Grants

April 22, 2016
Contact Conservation Resource Alliance
Chris Pierce, Project Manager – Maple Watershed
Kimberly Balke, Project Manager – Jordan Watershed

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. Each of these initiatives include many diverse partners and funders that are working together to improve northern Michigan natural resources and enhance recreational experiences.

This funding will help CRA coordinate prioritized road/stream crossing improvements on both the Maple and Jordan watersheds and a dam removal on the Maple. These grants will be combined with over a dozen other major contributors invested in each project to complete nearly $2,000,000 of work on the Maple River and $1,240,000 on the Jordan River. The entire Free Span the Maple River Connectivity Initiative incorporates replacement of eight severely degraded crossings with safe, modern structures that will benefit the whole watershed. Four of those crossings have already been replaced with timber bridges that improve stream health and fish passage while reducing sediment delivery to this vital cold-water stream. Similarly, the Jordan River project will replace the crossing on Old State Road with a free-spanning bridge to address significant problems associated with this popular site.

The Aquatic Habitat Grant Program funds projects that:
  • Protect intact and rehabilitate degraded aquatic resources throughout the state.
  • Develop self-sustaining aquatic communities that provide for continuing recreational opportunities and natural resource-based economies.
  • Develop strong relationships and partnerships.
"This year's grants will enhance a broad range of aquatic habitat that is the foundation for Michigan's world-class fishing opportunities,” said Chris Freiburger, Fisheries Division coordinator of the DNR's Aquatic Habitat Grant Program. “We’re excited for these projects to get under way and to really make a difference.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the Aquatic Habitat Grant Program should visit michigan.gov/dnr-grants.
The Conservation Resource Alliance is a private, non-profit organization that coordinates sensible stewardship of the land throughout northwest Michigan. CRA has facilitated natural resource conservation projects for over 48 years, tackling high-priority problems that threaten to degrade Michigan’s world-class waterways, landscapes, and rich wildlife diversity.
 

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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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