Conservation Resource Alliance
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Upper Manistee River to Benefit from Restoration Grant

April 15, 2010

The Traverse City based Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) has been awarded a grant for $625,000 through the Sustain Our Great Lakes (SOGL) program, a public-private program designed to achieve ecological and habitat restoration goals developed through the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration. Sustain Our Great Lakes 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.

CRA will use the grant to improve habitat and restore connectivity along tributaries to the Upper Manistee River in Kalkaska County by removing or bypassing twelve dams and coordinating restoration efforts at the former Flowing Wells Trout Farm property. This 1700 acre property has been protected by a transfer of ownership to the State of Michigan that was facilitated by the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. Downstream from this property a severely degraded road stream crossing on Mecum Road will be replaced with a modern Timber Bridge. This grant will help fund initial elements of this multi-year and phased project that is expected to cost more than $1.5 million. Numerous state, federal, and local partners will be involved and CRA has initiated a major fundraising campaign to support this project.


Recipient organizations and partners recently gathered in Grand Rapids for the announcement of the awards. Twenty five projects were selected to receive a total of $7.6 million in funding through the Sustain Our Great Lakes program. Grantees have committed to match the total grant funding with an additional $9.2 million, for a total conservation investment of more than $16.8 million of on-the ground impact. The projects will help protect, restore and enhance the ecological integrity of the lakes and surrounding region by restoring critical aquatic and terrestrial habitats, controlling invasive species, protecting rare natural communities and improving passage for fish and other aquatic organisms. Michigan will receive grants for eight projects in the state and a share of three grants for regional initiatives.

"These grants are a testament to the work of these organizations, who have tirelessly dedicated themselves to protecting the environment of Michigan and the entire Great Lakes region," said Senator Debbie Stabenow. "The Great Lakes are not only a part of our Michigan way of life, but they are a critical economic asset that makes our region unique. The preservation of these resources is critical to our economic recovery and jobs, and ensuring that future generations can enjoy the natural beauty of the world's largest freshwater system."

Established in 1968, 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 42 years, tackling high-priority problems that threaten to degrade Michigan’s world-class waterways, landscapes, and rich wildlife diversity. For more information about this project, CRA’s programs, and how to get involved, contact the Conservation Resource Alliance at (231) 946-6817, via e-mail at info@rivercare.org, or visit CRA’s web site at www.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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