NOAA Announces Great Lakes Restoration Funding to Michigan Partners

April 26, 2019

More than $7 million will support partners’ continued work on next phases of projects restoring Great Lakes habitats.

A barge and heavy equipment build offshore shoals on Celeron Island.

New shoals, ridges rising slightly above the water, protect Detroit River habitats and shorelines. Photo: Great Lakes Aggregates

NOAA is announcing $7.43 million in funding for two of NOAA’s existing partners to continue our work through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

With this funding, NOAA is continuing partnerships with Friends of the Detroit River and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (formerly the Department of Environmental Quality). They will use this funding to bring three projects into the next phases of implementation, which will result in multiple ecological, community and economic benefits for Great Lakes ecosystems and communities.

Friends of the Detroit River will restore habitats for native fish species migration, reproduction, growth, and seasonal refuge. One project will help reconnect waterways and wetlands on Bell Isle to the Detroit River, and restore habitat on the island. The other will build offshore shoals, ridges that create calm water areas for fish habitat and protect shorelines, as well as restoring other habitats on Celeron Island.

Great Lakes Manistique River sediment removal_1049x699_white lake dredge and dock.jpg

The Manistique River's contaminated sediment, from historic industrial manufacturing, is being removed. Photo: White Lake Dredge and Dock

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy will be removing contaminated sediments from the Manistique River Area of Concern. Sediments here contain PCBs from previous industrial activities, which are toxic to fish, wildlife and humans. Removal of 30,000 cubic yards of  this contaminated material, more than 2,000 dump trucks worth, will help remove the pollutants from habitat important for several fish species in the area.

NOAA is providing this funding, and our expertise, to contribute to delisting Great Lakes Areas of Concern—places where pollution has impacted ecosystems and the public’s ability to use natural resources. Our partners will leverage this funding to secure additional support, and will contribute their time and local knowledge all to produce greater outcomes than we could achieve alone.

The Great Lakes are one of our most important natural, recreational and economic resources, but they face many threats, including habitat degradation, pollution, overfishing, and the spread of invasive species. In response, NOAA has supported more than 60 projects through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative since 2010. Working with partners, we’ve restored more than 7,500 acres of habitat and opened almost 500 miles of streams for fish.