Sustain Our Great Lakes Announces $8.2 Million in Grants

Public–private partnership funds 34 projects enabling $16.1 million of on-the-ground impact in U.S. and Canada

AUGUST 6, 2012, PERRY, Ohio – The Honorable Steven LaTourette and members of the Great Lakes conservation community gathered at Lake Erie Bluffs today to announce 34 ecological restoration projects selected to receive $8.2 million in grant funding through the Sustain Our Great Lakes program. With a focus on improving the quality and connectivity of tributary, wetland and coastal habitats, the 34 selected projects will help protect, restore and enhance the ecological integrity of the Great Lakes and surrounding region.

“The Great Lakes are a treasure not only to our region and state, but the whole country,” said Representative LaTourette (R-Ohio). “These are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth, and hold 90 percent of our nation’s supply of fresh surface water. Protecting the Great Lakes is critical not just to continue providing water to local communities, but also to support ongoing local and national economic growth. I’m thrilled to be a part of the announcement of these grants, which will help us maintain that effort, and I thank the Sustain Our Great Lakes partners for their great work in evaluating these projects.”

Sustain Our Great Lakes is a public–private partnership coordinated by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and funded by ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S.D.A Forest Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The program also receives significant grant funding through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a federal program designed to protect, restore and enhance the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Sustain Our Great Lakes is emblematic of the bigger effort to save the Great Lakes. It’ll happen community by community, beach by beach, mile by mile,” said Cameron Davis, who as senior advisor counsels EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson in coordinating 16 federal and bi-national agencies in implementing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Some of the work to be supported by the new grants includes improving passage for fish and other aquatic organisms, controlling invasive species, restoring wetland hydrology, improving stream habitat, and providing technical assistance to private landowners who want to improve wildlife habitat on their property.

“These grants will help generate important ecological, economic and social benefits,” said Jeff Trandahl, Executive Director and CEO of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). “By making wildlife populations healthier, improving water quality and supporting local jobs, this work will result in a better quality of life for the people of the Great Lakes basin.”

“ArcelorMittal is proud to support these grant recipients and programs dedicated to protecting and restoring the Great Lakes watershed,” said Heather Loebner, Executive Director, Corporate Responsibility, ArcelorMittal. “Working together, we will help keep this resource healthy for future generations, and build a sustainable future for the Great Lakes region.”

The 2012 grants include:


  • Forest Preserve District of Cook County will control invasive species and conduct prescribed burning to restore more than 135 acres of lakeplain habitat within the Millennium Reserve: Calumet Core area ($100,000)
  • Lake County Forest Preserve District will work with partners in Illinois and Wisconsin to restore 1,158 acres of coastal lake plain habitat along the Chiwaukee Illinois Beach Lake Plain ($874,081)
  • Lake County Stormwater Management Commision will control invasive species and stabilize stream banks to restore 1,800 linear feet of Bull Creek, a major stream channel in the Dead River watershed ($57,000)


  • Indiana Department of Natural Resources will control invasive species to restore 92 acres of wetlands in northern Lake County, Indiana, within the Grand Calumet River Area of Concern ($121,000)


  • Alger Conservation District will: 1) replace four culverts to restore fish passage to 15 stream miles and 2) conduct control of purple loosestrife on 14 acres in Alger and Marquette Counties ($150,000)
  • City of Rochester will restore natural morphology and riparian vegetation along 3,500 feet of Paint Creek in Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve and Municipal Park within the Clinton River Area of Concern ($750,000)
  • Common Coast Research & Conservation and partners will control invasive species and plant native vegetation to restore more than 30 acres of coastal stopover habitat for migratory birds along Portage Bay in Escanaba ($50,940)
  • Conservation Resource Alliance will remove impounded sediment to minimize stream degradation that could occur from its downstream movement following the planned removal of Brown Bridge dam ($150,000)
  • Conservation Resource Alliance and partners will control phragmites and other invasive species to improve habitat on 1,400 acres and 7,000 feet of shoreline on six islands in the Beaver Island Archipelago ($368,646)
  • Huron Pines Resource Conservation & Development Area Council, Inc. will work with private landowners and other partners to restore 12 miles of aquatic connectivity, improve 150 acres of wetlands, and improve water quality in the northern Saginaw Bay watershed ($693,000)
  • Huron Pines Resource Conservation & Development Area Council, Inc. will provide technical assistance to approximately 300 private landowners to help optimize wildlife conservation on roughly 4,000 acres of private lands across the northern Lower Peninsula ($522,000)
  • Macomb County Public Works Office will remove an in-stream barrier and stabilize stream banks to restore 10 miles of connectivity and improve habitat along the North Branch Clinton River ($32,500)
  • Michigan Sea Grant will construct a reef in the Detroit River to create nearly a hectare of spawning habitat for lake sturgeon, walleye and other fish within the Detroit River Area of Concern ($799,226)
  • Regents of the University of Michigan will control invasive species and conduct prescribed burns on 250 acres of floodplain, fen and adjacent upland habitat along Fleming Creek ($112,348)
  • Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy and partners will control invasive phragmites to restore 101 acres, 11,700 linear feet of stream bank, and 10,100 linear feet of coastal habitat along Saginaw Bay ($150,000)
  • Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council and partners will control invasive phragmites to restore and enhance 400 acres of coastal shoreline and wetlands in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan ($458,160)


  • Minnesota Trout Unlimited will restore habitat for coaster brook trout and other salmonids along more than 7,000 feet of the Stewart River by adding in-stream structures and planting riparian trees to increase canopy cover ($120,000)
  • Sugarloaf: The North Shore Stewardship Association will assist private landowners with invasive species control and native tree planting to restore approximately 200 acres of coastal forest along Lake Superior ($25,000)

New York

  • Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District will control invasive water chestnut on 200 acres over 40 linear river miles to improve fish habitat, angling and boating opportunities, and other recreational uses ($55,000)


  • Cleveland Metroparks and partners will control invasive species and plant native vegetation to restore wetland functions and habitat on 60 acres of Fowles Marsh ($140,000)
  • Lake Metroparks will acquire 89 acres of coastal property as part of a larger project to protect 600 acres and 9,000 feet of contiguous Lake Erie shoreline in Painesville and Perry Townships ($300,000)
  • The Nature Conservancy will partner with Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and Ducks Unlimited to restore approximately 505 acres of wetlands and uplands near Lake Erie within the Maumee Area of Concern ($600,000)
  • Winous Point Marsh Conservancy and partners will augment an existing invasive weed management program to control phragmites and flowering rush on 550 acres of coastal marsh along Lake Erie ($56,050)


  • Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority will restore 61 acres of stream and riparian habitat, restore fish passage to 4 stream miles, and control phragmites in a high-quality wetland in the Nottawasaga Valley watershed ($100,000)
  • Trout Unlimited Canada will stabilize stream banks and add in-stream structures along 3,200 feet of Bronte Creek to improve habitat for Atlantic salmon and brook trout ($75,000)
  • Walpole Island First Nation will conduct an initial wetland assessment and develop a management plan to guide the restoration of Swan Lake Marsh within the St. Clair River Area of Concern ($25,000)


  • Girard Township and partners will improve two road–stream crossings to restore 7 miles of fish passage and improve habitat and water quality along 1,500 stream feet in two Lake Erie tributaries ($125,000)


  • Alliance for the Great Lakes will preserve and restore coastal habitat at three parks in Milwaukee County by controlling invasive species and planting native vegetation ($100,000)
  • Bayfield County Land and Water Conservation Department will restore 1.25 miles of Whittlesey Creek for coaster brook trout and other salmonids by increasing channel complexity and planting riparian forest ($114,200)
  • Kenosha County Division of Parks will restore fish passage to 22 stream miles by removing an earthen dam topped by a roadway and replacing it with a new bridge ($150,000)
  • Ozaukee County will restore aquatic connectivity to more than 3 stream miles and 170 wetland acres by re-designing and improving three trail–stream crossings on Riveredge Creek ($28,500)
  • Stockbridge-Munsee Community will remove four segments of an abandoned rail bed to restore connectivity between 258 acres of wetlands and 2 miles of stream habitat on the Stockbridge-Munsee Forest ($525,000)
  • University of Wisconsin will control invasive species on 114 acres of coastal wetlands on Pt. au Sable to restore important habitat for migratory and breeding birds within the Lower Fox River and Green Bay Area of Concern ($150,000)
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will control invasive species to restore 925 acres within a 23,000 complex of rare wetlands on 15 DNR properties that support 45 rare species ($168,000)

For more information on the 2012 Sustain Our Great Lakes grants, please contact Todd Hogrefe, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, at 612-564-7286 or




Rob Blumenthal, 202-857-0166