Great Lakes Restoration Projects Producing Results for People, Communities MARCH 2014

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1 Great Lakes Restoration Projects Producing Results for People, Communities MARCH 2014

2 Great Lakes Restoration Projects Producing Results for People, Communities Prepared for the Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Coalition by Jeff Alexander, Anna Brunner, and Dave Gershman This report was made possible through the generous support of the Erb Foundation, Great Lakes Fisheries Trust, Joyce Foundation, and Peter Wege Foundation. The Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Coalition is solely responsible for the content of this report. The views expressed in this report are those of the Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Coalition and do not necessarily represent the views of financial supporters. Cover photo credits (clockwise from top left): Flickr/stevendepolo, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Conservation Fund, Tom Mellon, Jim Wasley, and Montclair State University 2014 Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Coalition. All Rights Reserved. Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Coalition National Wildlife Federation 213 W. Liberty Street, Suite 200 Ann Arbor, MI More than 120 organizations representing millions of people are uniting to restore one of America s greatest natural wonders the Great Lakes. The coalition seeks to stop sewage contamination, shut the door on invasive species, and restore wetlands and other damaged habitat, each of which is an essential component of restoring the health of the Great Lakes. For more information, contact: TODD L. AMBS Campaign Director CHAD LORD Policy Director JENNIFER HILL Field Director JORDAN LUBETKIN Communications Director CELIA HAVEN Program Coordinator

3 Table of Contents REGION-WIDE Making Great Lakes Wind Power Bird and Bat Friendly Region-wide Project aims to make wind power bird friendly... 4 Ultrasound Technology for Great Lakes Ballast Water Treatment Region-wide Invention could help solve Great Lakes ballast water crisis... 5 ILLINOIS 63rd Street Dune and Beach Restoration Chicago, Illinois Chicago beach becomes more natural, attracts wildlife... 6 INDIANA Dunes Creek Daylighting Indiana Dunes State Park, Chesterton, Indiana Liberated creek improves park, reduces water pollution... 7 Roxana Marsh Restoration East Chicago, Indiana Important marsh restored in Grand Calumet River MICHIGAN Dusseau Tract Restoration at the Erie State Game Area Erie State Game Area, Monroe, Michigan Restored wetland helps wildlife, curbs water pollution... 9 Wayne Road Dam Removal and Rouge River Restoration Wayne, Michigan Removing small dam near Detroit yields big results Black River and Sucker Creek Road Stream Crossing Black River, near Harrisville, Michigan New bridge unleashes a northern Michigan trout stream Chesaning Dam Removal Chesaning, Michigan Dam removal improves river, saves community festival Boardman River Dam Removal Traverse City, Michigan One down, two to go in historic dam removal project mybeachcast Smartphone Application Ann Arbor, Michigan App provides real-time information on beach conditions Crisp Point Project Near Newberry, Michigan Grants preserve scenic parcel along Lake Superior White Lake Area of Concern Cleanup and Delisting Whitehall, Michigan Decades of cleanup work paying off for White Lake GREAT LAKES RESTORATION PROJECTS PRODUCING RESULTS FOR PEOPLE, COMMUNITIES 1

4 OHIO Blausey Tract Wetland Restoration in the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Oak Harbor, Ohio Coastal wetlands restored along Lake Erie Sulphur Springs Assessment and Restoration Suburban Cleveland, Ohio, in the cities of Solon and Bentleyville Restored stream could play role in reintroducing trout.. 18 Lacustrine Refuge Restoration Cleveland, Ohio Project restores natural refuge in midst of urban area Black River Restoration Lorain, Ohio Cleanup removes mountains of steel slag along river Cuyahoga River Fish Restoration Project Cleveland, Ohio Cuyahoga River fish habitat restored Parma Neighborhood Stormwater Initiative Parma, Ohio Neighbors work to reduce runoff Urban Debris Removal in Cleveland Harbor Cleveland, Ohio Unique boats patrol for trash in Cleveland West Creek Confluence Project Independence, Ohio Wetland restoration creating urban oasis for people, wildlife...24 Protecting Critical Habitat on Kelleys Island Kelleys Island, Ohio, in western Lake Erie Land buys protect rare ecosystems on Lake Erie island...25 PENNSYLVANIA Roderick Wildlife Reserve Expansion Lake City, Pennsylvania GLRI funds expand wildlife reserve along Lake Erie Cascade Creek Restoration Erie, Pennsylvania Restored creek carries less sediment into Lake Erie Presque Isle Bay Cleanup Erie, Pennsylvania Lake Erie site taken off list of pollution hotspots Increased Surveillance of Lake Trout Health and Emerging Fish Diseases Lamar, Pennsylvania Expanded research detects two new fish diseases WISCONSIN Floating Island Habitat Milwaukee, Wisconsin Floating islands provide habitat in the Milwaukee River A Migratory Flyway on Lake Michigan Belgium, Wisconsin Forest beach migratory preserve replaces fairway Lake Sturgeon Imprinting Project Newburg, Wisconsin Streamside rearing facility helps restore lake sturgeon University Decreases Runoff Milwaukee, Wisconsin Campus stormwater discharge reduced due to green landscaping Kinnickinnic River Naturalization Milwaukee, Wisconsin A community effort cleans up the Kinnickinnic River GREAT LAKES RESTORATION PROJECTS PRODUCING RESULTS FOR PEOPLE, COMMUNITIES

5 Whittlesey Creek Debris Project Ashland, Wisconsin Large woody debris restores Whittlesey Creek Menomonee River Restoration Milwaukee, Wisconsin Hank Aaron Trail in the Menomonee River Valley hits a home run High School Wastewater Wetland Jackson, Wisconsin Wetland wastewater treatment facility helps protect the Great Lakes Shoreline Protected by Barrier Island Green Bay, Wisconsin Cat Island restoration project restores native fish populations Ozaukee County Fish Passage Program Ozaukee County, Wisconsin Removing culverts, dams, and obstacles restores passage to river Muskego Lakes Wildlife Area Near Franklin, Wisconsin Farmers fields transformed to help wildlife and water retention...40 Fox River Phosphorous Pilot Project Near Green Bay, Wisconsin Project helps reduce runoff on a dairy farm Restoring the Urban Root River Racine, Wisconsin A city reconnects to its river...42 Sustainable Brewery Redevelopment Milwaukee, Wisconsin A brewery complex renewed with blue ribbon practices Great Lakes Ecosystems Protected from Overabundant Wildlife Apostle Islands National Lakeshore near Bayfield, Wisconsin National park culls excess deer to save rare vegetation Mashek Creek Property Acquisition Pierce, Wisconsin Project protects valuable bird habitat NEW YORK Buffalo River Sediment Cleanup and Habitat Restoration Buffalo, New York Massive Buffalo River cleanup reaches halfway point Orwell Brook Sea Lamprey Barrier Near Altmar, New York New sea lamprey barrier protects Lake Ontario fishery Buffalo River Bend Restoration Project Buffalo, New York Buffalo River undergoing transformation Lake Trout and Lake Sturgeon Research and Restoration in the Niagara River Lewiston, New York Lake trout making a comeback in Niagara River MINNESOTA Restoration of Radio Tower Bay in the St. Louis River Area of Concern Duluth, Minnesota Restoring fish habitat by getting the wood out Grassy Point Restoration Duluth, Minnesota Project turns industrial wasteland into natural wonder Stryker Bay Cleanup Duluth Harbor in Duluth, Minnesota Cleanup gives new life to Minnesota waterway GREAT LAKES RESTORATION PROJECTS PRODUCING RESULTS FOR PEOPLE, COMMUNITIES 3

6 Project aims to make wind power bird friendly REGION-WIDE A project that tracked bird movements in the Great Lakes could reduce the number of birds and bats killed by new wind turbines planned for the basin. PROJECT NAME: Making Great Lakes Wind Power Bird and Bat Friendly DESCRIPTION: Wind turbines are becoming more common in the Great Lakes basin as the demand for clean energy increases. Studies have shown that much of the Great Lakes basin has tremendous potential for generating wind power, but the massive turbines that turn wind into electricity can also threaten bird and bat populations. Birds crashing into wind turbines is a serious concern in some areas of the Great Lakes, particularly along the Lake Erie coast in Ohio, which is located in one of the nation s busiest corridors for migratory birds. Wind turbines have killed numerous birds in other parts of the United States, a problem that has resulted in lawsuits, fines and, in some cases, costly changes for wind turbine operators. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to minimize the conflict between wind turbines and birds in the Great Lakes basin by making wind power wildlife friendly. The agency received $2 million from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to purchase two avian radar units, which track flying birds and bats. The devices help researchers map the busiest bird migration corridors, the timing of migration, and areas with the largest populations of non-migratory birds and bats. In addition to the radar units, biologists also placed more than 30 acoustic monitors along the shores of lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario to obtain more data on the movement of birds and bats. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said data from the project could guide where new wind turbines are located, thereby protecting migratory birds and bats. That will become increasingly important as demand increases for clean energy sources, such as wind power. APPROXIMATE COST OF PROJECT: $2 million RESOURCE CHALLENGE ADDRESSED: Migratory birds and bats that can be killed by wind turbines that are erected in flyways Restoration Intiative and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service TYPES OF JOBS CREATED: Biologists, meteorologists, engineers, technicians and general laborers WEB SITE: One of the avian radar units that was used to track bird and bat movements in the Great Lakes basin. Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These radar images show the dramatic increase in bird migration at night. The radar image on the left was captured during the day, while the image on the right was captured at 10 p.m. Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. RESULTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Researchers have mapped the busiest bird migration corridors and areas with high concentrations of bats. The data will guide where wind power facilities and communication towers should be located in order to minimize the impact on birds and bats. 4 GREAT LAKES RESTORATION PROJECTS PRODUCING RESULTS FOR PEOPLE, COMMUNITIES

7 Invention could help solve Great Lakes ballast water crisis REGION-WIDE A New Jersey scientist has invented a system that uses ultrasound and filters to kill invasive species in ballast water. PROJECT NAME: Ultrasound Technology for Great Lakes Ballast Water Treatment with a $673,500 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant. Tests have shown BallastSolution kills 99 percent of organisms in ballast water. Wu said it could be used to sterilize ballast water tanks in millions of ships worldwide. With new federal rules requiring ocean freighters in U.S. waters to treat ballast water starting in 2017, BallastSolution could help stem the tide of invasive species entering the Great Lakes. DESCRIPTION: The Great Lakes are plagued by 185 invasive species, most which entered the lakes via manmade canals and the ballast water tanks of oceangoing freighters. Invasive species are one of the most serious problems in the Great Lakes, causing more than $100 million in economic and environmental damage annually. Zebra and quagga mussels, sea lamprey, and other invaders have disrupted fisheries, clogged water intakes, and fueled nuisance algal blooms that have killed more than 100,000 birds and threatened human health. Many of the worst invaders snuck into the lakes after 1959, when the St. Lawrence Seaway allowed ocean freighters into the freshwater lakes for the first time. The U.S. and Canadian governments have enacted ballast water exchange rules, but regulators have yet to close the door on foreign organisms entering the lakes in ocean freighters. Meiyin Wu, an ecologist and an associate professor of biology at Montclair State University in New Jersey, may have invented the proverbial magic bullet. She developed BallastSolution, which uses filtration and ultrasound to kill microscopic organisms, along with egg and larval stages of macroorganisms, in ballast water. Wu developed the system APPROXIMATE COST OF PROJECT: $673,500, which was provided by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative RESOURCE CHALLENGES ADDRESSED: Invasive species Restoration Initiative, Montclair State University, University of Vermont, U.S. Department of Interior, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency TYPES OF JOBS CREATED: Engineers, ecologists, biologists, and pipefitters WEB SITE: Meiyin Wu with her BallastSolution device. Photo courtesy of Montclair State University. RESULTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Tests have shown that the BallastSolution system kills 99 percent of all organisms in ballast water. HEALING OUR WATERS GREAT LAKES COALITION 5

8 Chicago beach becomes more natural, attracts wildlife CHICAGO, ILLINOIS Restoring 21 acres of sand dunes and aquatic habitat lured native plants and birds back to a Chicago beach. PROJECT NAME: 63rd Street Dune and Beach Restoration now attracts several species of birds. Waterfowl use the beach as a stopover during migration, and several species of shorebirds have been observed at the restored beach, including the tricolored heron and the federally endangered piping plover. The Chicago Park District also modified storm water drains at the park to reduce polluted runoff and improve water quality at the beach. More than 100 volunteers helped replace invasive plants with native vegetation. DESCRIPTION: The 63rd Street Beach on Chicago s waterfront was for years a barren landscape where litter was more common than plants or animals. As part of a project to restore Chicago s Lake Michigan waterfront, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Chicago Park District transformed 21 acres of the 63rd Street Beach into a more natural landscape, with sweeping sand dunes. The project restored 14 acres of sand dunes and 7 acres of aquatic habitat. Government workers and volunteers removed invasive trees and planted native marram grasses to hold the sand that would re-establish dunes on the beach. Crews replaced non-native trees with black oaks, which have attracted more wildlife to the beach, and restored fish habitat along a jetty at the beach. Native prickly pear cactus can now be found in the dunes. The state endangered sea rocket has established colonies in a stretch of beach between the sand dune and Lake Michigan, and the site APPROXIMATE COST OF PROJECT: $969,000, a portion of which was provided by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative RESOURCE CHALLENGES ADDRESSED: Invasive species, fish and wildlife habitat, polluted runoff and water quality Restoration Initiative, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago Park District, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and numerous volunteers who planted native vegetation at the beach TYPES OF JOBS CREATED: Landscape architects, biologists, ecologists, heavy equipment operators and general laborers WEB SITE: RESULTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: The restored beach is now a popular stopover for migratory birds. Rare plants and animals also can be found at the beach, included the state endangered sea rocket and the federally endangered piping plover. An aerial view of the 63rd Street Beach in Chicago, Illinois. 6 GREAT LAKES RESTORATION PROJECTS PRODUCING RESULTS FOR PEOPLE, COMMUNITIES

9 Liberated creek improves park, reduces water pollution INDIANA DUNES STATE PARK, CHESTERTON, INDIANA Beach-goers at the Indiana Dunes State Park enjoy playing in Dunes Creek. Photo from Flickr/Lotzman Katzman. Uncovering a creek at Indiana Dunes State Park and restoring the stream s natural flow created new fish habitat and reduced the volume of polluted runoff entering Lake Michigan. PROJECT NAME: Dunes Creek Daylighting DESCRIPTION: Dunes Creek is a small stream that flows through Indiana Dunes State Park and discharges into nearby Lake Michigan. The creek was forced into a large pipe in the 1930s so a new parking lot could be built where the stream once flowed. The creek remained harnessed for 80 years. In 2005, officials at the state park decided to daylight an 825-foot-section the creek. Three years later, after heavy rains and flooding collapsed part of the parking lot above the creek, officials decided to daylight another 700-foot section of Dunes Creek. The project restored the creek s natural flow, improved flood protection, created fish and wildlife habitat, improved water quality and reduced the volume of polluted runoff flowing into Lake Michigan. The project, which included construction of a boardwalk, improved the overall aesthetics of the park and increased pedestrian access to the creek. Daylighting the creek meant fewer parking spaces, but that reduced overcrowding at the park, which has actually increased revenue. In 2005, the park brought in 68 cents for every dollar invested. By 2009, that had soared to $1.20. The project, which was dedicated in 2012, has won numerous state and national awards. APPROXIMATE COST OF PROJECT: $2 million RESOURCE CHALLENGES ADDRESSED: Loss of fish and wildlife habitat, polluted runoff, bacterial pollution at nearby beach KEY PARTNERS (PUBLIC AND PRIVATE): Indiana Department of Natural Resources, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Federal Emergency Management Administration and the Indiana Department of Transportation TYPES OF JOBS CREATED: Biologists, hydrologists, landscape architects, civil engineers, heavy equipment operators and general laborers WEB SITE: RESULTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Restored the natural channel in a portion of Dunes Creek, which created new fish habitat, reduced polluted runoff and bacterial pollution on a nearby Lake Michigan beach. HEALING OUR WATERS GREAT LAKES COALITION 7

10 Important marsh restored in Grand Calumet River EAST CHICAGO, INDIANA A $52 million project cleaned up part of the Grand Calumet River and restored the 25-acre Roxana Marsh. ROJECT NAME: Roxana Marsh Restoration DESCRIPTION: The Roxana Marsh is an integral part of the West Branch of the Grand Calumet River. Prior to the 1960s, the 25-acre marsh attracted numerous species of fish and birds, provided flood control, and filtered some pollutants out of the river. That changed as decades of pollution from nearby industries and cities poisoned the marsh with heavy metals and toxic chemicals and choked it with excessive sediment, which was then colonized by the invasive reed Phragmites. Those changes left the marsh and the adjoining stretch of river devoid of all aquatic life. In the early 1990s, government agencies began laying the groundwork for the Grand Calumet River cleanup and restoration of Roxana Marsh. The project is part of a larger effort to remove the most contaminated sediment from Great Lakes harbors and tributaries and restore marshes and coastal wetlands that provide important habitat for fish and wildlife. In 2011, crews dredged the top two feet of river bottom and removed 252,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment in and around Roxana Marsh. Workers capped another 345,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment that remained on the river bottom. Related cleanups have resulted in the removal and capping of nearly 730,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment in the Grand Calumet River. The entire Grand Calumet River cleanup will cost about $100 million. APPROXIMATE COST OF PROJECT: $52,000,000 RESOURCE CHALLENGES ADDRESSED: Water quality, contaminated sediments, loss of fish and wildlife habitat Restoration Initiative, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers TYPES OF JOBS CREATED: Chemists, toxicologists, biologists, ecologists, landscape architects, botanists, heavy equipment operators, and general laborers WEB SITE: RESULTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Crews removed nearly 252,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment in a stretch of the Grand Calumet River and restored 25 acres of wetlands in the Roxana Marsh. Fish and birds have already returned to the restored marsh, which is a critical part of the river s ecosystem. Roxana Marsh after it was dredged. Photo courtesy of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 8 GREAT LAKES RESTORATION PROJECTS PRODUCING RESULTS FOR PEOPLE, COMMUNITIES

11 Restored wetland helps wildlife, curbs water pollution ERIE STATE GAME AREA, MONROE, MICHIGAN The restored Dusseau Tract wetland. Photo courtesy of Ducks Unlimited. A wetland that was drained for agricultural purposes was restored into habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife. Phragmites. The restored wetland also filters nutrients out of agricultural runoff, which reduces the volume of polluted runoff entering Lake Erie and provides habitat for ducks and other wildlife. PROJECT NAME: Dusseau Tract Restoration at the Erie State Game Area DESCRIPTION: The Dusseau Tract project involved the restoration of 38 acres of coastal wetlands and 28 acres of lake plain prairie at the Erie State Game Area. In 2006, Ducks Unlimited and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources applied for a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant to incorporate the Dusseau Tract into the Erie State Game Area. They then received a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 to restore the coastal wetland. Through these partnerships, critical wetland habitat was restored on land that was previously drained for agricultural purposes. The project involved the reshaping of a degraded berm, excavating shallow wetland areas to enhance diversity within the newly created wetland, and adding control structures and a portable pump to facilitate water-level management. These improvements will allow the Michigan DNR to manage the wetland and control the growth of invasive plant species such as APPROXIMATE COST OF PROJECT: $284,477 to restore 66 acres of coastal wetlands and lake plain prairie. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative provided most of the money. RESOURCE CHALLENGES ADDRESSED: Loss of coastal wetlands and wildlife habitat, invasive species and water quality. The restored wetland filters agricultural drainage before it reaches Lake Erie, thereby improving water quality. Restoration Initiative, Ducks Unlimited, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency TYPES OF JOBS CREATED: For this project, jobs were created through the project planning, design and delivery aspects. Some examples of jobs include: excavator operator, excavator spotter, gate and frame manufacturer, gate and frame deliverer, engineers, biologists and many others. WEB SITE: RESULTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Partnerships between groups like the Michigan DNR and Ducks Unlimited, in conjunction with funding opportunities such as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, are critical for the continued success in protecting, enhancing and restoring vital lake plain prairie and coastal wetland habitats. Through these efforts, a wetland area previously drained for agricultural purposes was restored and now enhances water quality flowing to Lake Erie, provides habitat for ducks and other wildlife and allows for public recreation activities including bird watching, hunting and hiking. HEALING OUR WATERS GREAT LAKES COALITION 9

12 Removing small dam near Detroit yields big results WAYNE, MICHIGAN (NEAR DETROIT) Removing a small dam in the Rouge River, near Detroit, has restored fish passage and reconnected the lower river to the larger Great Lakes ecosystem. PROJECT NAME: Wayne Road Dam Removal and Rouge River Restoration Friends of the Rouge, City of Wayne, Wayne County and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration TYPES OF JOBS CREATED: Civil and environmental engineers, biologists, ecologists, landscape engineers, heavy equipment operators and general laborers WEB SITE: DESCRIPTION: The Rouge River, which flows through a heavily industrialized area of metropolitan Detroit, is one of the largest and most damaged rivers in Michigan. Decades of toxic discharges and sewer overflows hurt water quality and fish populations in the river, and dams fractured the sprawling Rouge River ecosystem into a series of smaller, ecologically dysfunctional river segments. One of those dams was located in the city of Wayne, near Detroit. Built in the early 1900s to provide water for firefighting, the 3-foot-high dam blocked fish passage, damaged fish and wildife habitat and isolated parts of the river and its tributaries from the lower Rouge River, the Detroit River and the rest of the Great Lakes. The dam and subsequent land use activities altered the river s flow, harmed water quality and aquatic life in that stretch of the Rouge. Removing the dam connected 11 miles of the river and 110 miles of tributaries to the lower Rouge and the rest of the Great Lakes ecosystem. Workers also restored the river s natural channel, planted vegetation along the restored river banks and created new fish and wildlife habitat. The Rouge River when the dam was in place. Photo courtesy of Alliance of Rouge Communities. APPROXIMATE COST OF PROJECT: $1,033,536, most of which was provided by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative via the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RESOURCE CHALLENGES ADDRESSED: Fish passage, loss of fish and wildlife habitat, ecosystem fragmentation and water quality Restoration Initiative, Alliance of Rouge Communities, Wayne Road after the dam was removed. Photo courtesy of Alliance of Rouge Communities. RESULTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Removing the dam reconnected 11 miles of the main stem of Rouge River and 110 miles of the river s tributaries to the Great Lakes. Fish in the lower Rouge are now migrating further upstream and a greater diversity of fish has been noted in the river. 10 GREAT LAKES RESTORATION PROJECTS PRODUCING RESULTS FOR PEOPLE, COMMUNITIES

13 New bridge unleashes a northern Michigan trout stream BLACK RIVER, NEAR HARRISVILLE, MICHIGAN Replacing two dysfunctional culverts with a bridge over the Black River reconnected 18 miles of free-flowing trout stream to Lake Huron in northern Michigan and created miles of prime spawning habitat for lake-run coaster brook trout, steelhead and salmon. PROJECT NAME: Black River and Sucker Creek Road Stream Crossing DESCRIPTION: The Black River in northeast Michigan is known for coaster brook trout and steelhead that migrate up the river from Lake Huron. In 2007, a study by the conservation group Huron Pines identified a problem with twin culverts that allows the river to flow beneath Sucker Creek Road. The culverts, each of which was 5-feet in diameter and 50-feet long, created a bottleneck in the river, which increased the river s velocity. The increased velocity created a plunge pool on the downstream side of the culvert, effectively leaving the culverts perched above the river channel. The perched culvert block fish passage and created a biological disconnect between the lower Black River and 18 miles of the river and tributaries upstream of the road crossing. Soil erosion from steep banks near the bridge crossing sent about 80 tons of sediment into the stream each year, covering rocky areas where trout spawn. During highflow events, the river flowed over the road, creating safety hazards for motorists. Working with the Alcona County Road Commission and the U.S. Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife Service, the conservation group Huron Pines coordinated plans to replace the perched culverts with a 30-foot long timber bridge. The bridge restored the river s natural flow, reconnected 18 miles of free-flowing Black River to Lake Huron and created miles of spawning habitat for lake-run coaster brook trout, steelhead and salmon. APPROXIMATE COST OF PROJECT: $350,000, which was provided by the Great Lakes Fishery Trust and the U.S. Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife Service RESOURCE CHALLENGES ADDRESSED: Fragmentation of a river, disruption of fish passage, and soil erosion that damaged trout habitat in the river KEY PARTNERS (PUBLIC AND PRIVATE): Huron Pines, Alcona County Road Commission, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Great Lakes Fishery Trust TYPES OF JOBS CREATED: Engineers, biologists, stream ecologists, heavy equipment operators and general laborers WEB SITE: The perched culverts disrupted the Black River s natural flow, prevented fish passage and created and ecological divide in the river. Photo courtesy of Huron Pines. The new bridge restored the Black River s natural flow and reconnected 18 miles of free-flowing river to Lake Huron. Photo courtesy of Huron PInes. RESULTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Reconnected 18 miles of a free-flowing section of the Black River to Lake Huron, which created new habitat for migratory fish species. The project also reduced by about 80 tons annually the amount of sediment washing into the stream near the bridge. HEALING OUR WATERS GREAT LAKES COALITION 11

14 Dam removal improves river, saves community festival CHESANING, MICHIGAN The Chesaning Dam was replaced with a series of rock weirs that allowed fish passage and maintained sufficient water levels upstream. Photo from Flickr/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Act Team. The failure of a dam in northern Michigan led to a solution that restored fish passage in an important Lake Huron tributary and saved a popular community festival in the process. PROJECT NAME: Chesaning Dam Removal DESCRIPTION: The Chesaning Dam was built in 1863 to power a grist millage in the village of Chesaning, located about 40 miles northwest of Detroit. The dam on the Shiawassee River was a community fixture and the pond it created was the site of the popular Chesaning Showboat Festival, an annual event that began in The partial collapse of the dam in 2005 created a safety hazard, lowered water levels in the impoundment and jeopardized the Showboat Festival. Faced with the prospect of losing the dam and the festival, community leaders and state officials worked with engineers to develop a unique solution that restored natural conditions in the river while maintaining water levels that were sufficient to support the Showboat Festival. The dam was removed and replaced with manmade rapids that were comprised of a series of rock ramps and boulder arch weirs in the river. The step-down structure restored fish passage, giving walleye and sturgeon in the Saginaw River and Lake Huron access to 37 miles of the Shiawassee River above the former dam, and preserved water levels upstream that were sufficient to support the Showboat Festival. The manmade weirs also created whitewater rapids that attracted kayakers and became a new point of pride for the community. APPROXIMATE COST OF PROJECT: $1,410,400, which was provided by the state of Michigan s Clean Michigan Initiative, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and several local organizations RESOURCE CHALLENGES ADDRESSED: Degraded fish habit and the loss of ecological connectivity between 37 miles of the Shiawassee River and Lake Huron KEY PARTNERS (PUBLIC AND PRIVATE): Village of Chesaning and Chesaning Township, Saginaw County, Wade Trim, Ellen River Partners, Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network, Friends of the Shiawassee River, the Saginaw Community Foundation, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers TYPES OF JOBS CREATED: Civil engineers, biologists, ecologists, heavy equipment operators and general laborers WEB SITE: RESULTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: The project gave walleye and lake sturgeon in the Saginaw River and Lake Huron access to 37 miles of spawning habitat in the Shiawassee River and saved the popular Chesaning Showboat Festival. 12 GREAT LAKES RESTORATION PROJECTS PRODUCING RESULTS FOR PEOPLE, COMMUNITIES

15 One down, two to go in historic dam removal project TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN The first of three dams has been removed as part of the largest dam removal in Michigan history. PROJECT NAME: Boardman River Dam Removal DESCRIPTION: The Boardman River is one of Michigan s ten best trout streams and one of the most ecologically significant and popular rivers in northern Michigan. The river s watershed encompasses 291 square miles and produces one-third of the water volume of Lake Michigan s Grand Traverse Bay, in Traverse City. Four dams were built in the river in the late 1800s and early 1900s to power a flourmill and, later, generate electricity. The dams created obstructions in the river, which created artificial ponds, blocked fish passage, altered natural stream flows and increased water temperatures in parts of the blue-ribbon trout stream. In 2005, Traverse City Light and Power determined it was no longer cost effective to generate electricity at the dams. That decision prompted a coalition of community groups to develop a plan to remove three of the dams and modify the Union Street Dam in downtown Traverse City. The project is the largest dam removal project in Michigan s history. Removal of the first dam, Brown Bridge Dam, was marred by the failure of a temporary dam in October 2012 that caused flooding downstream. The project was completed in early 2013 and that stretch of river was re-opened to anglers and paddlers in April The project also gave fish access to 145 miles of stream above the dam for the first time in nearly 100 years. Removal of the Boardman and Sabin dams is expected to begin in APPROXIMATE COST OF PROJECT: $4.2 million; the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative provided $1.9 million for the project Brown Bridge Dam. RESOURCE CHALLENGES ADDRESSED: Obstructions to fish passage, loss of fish and wildlife habitat, loss of wetlands and upstream habitat and unnatural warming of water temperatures in the cold-water trout stream Restoration Initiative, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Great Lakes Fishery Trust, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, city of Traverse City, Grand Traverse County and several other organizations TYPES OF JOBS CREATED: Civil engineers, biologists, ecologists, heavy equipment operators, general laborers The Boardman River has returned to its natural channel after 90 years, following removal of the Brown Bridge Dam. WEB SITE: RESULTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Re-established 2.5 miles of river channel, 12.2 acres of floodplain, moved 260,000 cubic yards of sediment and restored more than one mile of in-stream habitat. HEALING OUR WATERS GREAT LAKES COALITION 13

16 App provides real-time information on beach conditions ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN A smartphone app called mybeachcast allows beachgoers to check real-time conditions at 1,800 beaches in the Great Lakes region. PROJECT NAME: mybeachcast Smartphone Application DESCRIPTION: A smartphone app and Web site developed by the Great Lakes Commission, LimnoTech and the eight Great Lakes states allows anyone with a smart phone to access real-time conditions at 1,800 Great Lakes beaches. The app, called mybeachcast, provides information on swim advisories and other environmental conditions including dangerous currents for Great Lakes and inland beaches. The app tells beachgoers whether bacterial pollution from sewer overflows have caused any swim advisories, wave heights and whether the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued any advisories about potentially dangerous currents. The app is especially important in light of a number of recent Great Lakes drownings, most of which are caused by people getting caught in dangerous rip currents. All of the data on the mybeachcast app is provided by government agencies. The app also allows users to discover local beaches based on the user s location, view beaches and their status on a map, save favorite beaches, and get driving directions. Android phone users can download the app at: iphone users can access the same information on a mobile Web site, at: APPROXIMATE COST OF PROJECT: $99,937, which was provided by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative RESOURCE CHALLENGES ADDRESSED: Water quality, public health, human exposure to potentially dangerous bacterial pollution, rip currents and beach safety Restoration Initiative, Great Lakes Commission, LimnoTech, the eight Great Lakes states, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency TYPES OF JOBS CREATED: Computer programmers, marketing and public relations specialists WEB SITE: A girl enjoys a sunny day on Riley Street Beach in Holland, Michigan. Photo from Flickr/ stevendepolo. RESULTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: The mybeachcast app has been downloaded more than 1,000 times. 14 GREAT LAKES RESTORATION PROJECTS PRODUCING RESULTS FOR PEOPLE, COMMUNITIES

17 Grants preserve scenic parcel along Lake Superior NEAR NEWBERRY, MICHIGAN A federally funded land acquisition will preserve 3,810 acres of forest and more than two miles of Lake Superior shoreline in Michigan. PROJECT NAME: Crisp Point Project DESCRIPTION: Crisp Point is located on a scenic stretch of Lake Superior shoreline in the eastern portion of Michigan s Upper Peninsula. A 3,180 acre parcel of privately-owned land adjacent to the Crisp Point Lighthouse includes a vast forest, more than two miles of pristine Lake Superior coast, sand dunes, an inland lake and a river that flows into Lake Superior. The landowner agreed to sell the property, provided it would be managed to protect wildlife habitat, sustainable forestry practices and ensure public access to a popular snowmobile trail that crosses the site. The state of Michigan acquired the property with a $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Forest Service s Forest Legacy Program and a $1.5 million contribution from a private donor. The acquisition ensures that Michigan residents and visitors will forever be able to enjoy the scenic, remote site. The parcel contains approximately 2.5 miles of snowmobile Trail No. 8, a major trail connector across the northern Upper Peninsula, and offers numerous outdoor recreational opportunities, including hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, wildlife viewing and kayaking. State officials said the neighboring Crisp Point Lighthouse would benefit from additional public land, and an endowment for payments in lieu of taxes will benefit local government. APPROXIMATE COST OF PROJECT: $6 million. The U.S. Forest Service s Forest Legacy Program provided a $4.5 million grant and a private donor contributed $1.5 million. Crisp Point Lighthouse and Lake Superior coastline at Crisp Point. Photo from Flickr/ Citizen KEY PARTNERS (PUBLIC AND PRIVATE): U.S. Forest Service, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Little Traverse Conservancy and a private donor who contributed $1.5 million to the project TYPES OF JOBS CREATED: Land surveyors, ecologists, appraisers and mortgage processors WEB SITE: RESOURCE CHALLENGES ADDRESSED: Preservation of fish and wildlife habitat, coastal sand dunes and forestland RESULTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: The project preserved more than two miles of Lake Superior shoreline and 3,810 acres of adjacent forestland, which will ensure the protection of wildlife habitat, sustainable forestry practices and enhance the overall health of the Lake Superior ecosystem. HEALING OUR WATERS GREAT LAKES COALITION 15

18 Decades of cleanup work paying off for White Lake WHITEHALL, MICHIGAN Intensive cleanup activities have improved water quality, fish health and reduced phosphorus concentrations in White Lake, which is one of 43 Great Lakes Areas of Concern. White Lake could be removed from the AOC list by the summer of PROJECT NAME: White Lake Area of Concern Cleanup and Delisting DESCRIPTION: White Lake was designated a Great Lakes Area of Concern in 1987 after contaminated groundwater beneath the former Hooker Chemical manufacturing facility seeped into the lake, polluting the water, contaminating the mud and sand at the bottom of the lake, and tainting fish and wildlife. A tannery on the other side of White Lake caused a variety of problems in the lake, including: polluted drinking water; contaminated fish; explosive algal growth; degraded fish an wildlife populations; loss of fish and wildlife habitat; and damaged bottom-dwelling organisms at the base of the lake s food chain. This pollution crisis harmed the lake and gave the otherwise scenic waterway a bad reputation. Cleanup efforts over the past decade have removed tons of contaminated sediments from the lake bottom, halted the flow of polluted groundwater into the lake and reduced the amount of phosphorus entering the lakes. In May 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that White Lake no longer suffered from excessive algal growth. By February 2013, restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption had been lifted. The remaining impairments to the waterway are on schedule to be addressed by the summer of 2014, at which point the AOC A great blue heron, perched on a log in the distance, enjoys the improved habitat in White Lakes. Photo courtesy of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Office of the Great Lakes. designation would finally be removed. The toxic sediment in the White Lake AOC is mixed with corn cob dust to make it solid enough to transport safely. Photo courtesy of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Office of the Great Lakes. APPROXIMATE COST OF PROJECT: More than $20 million in public and private funds has been spent on removing contaminated sediments at two sites in the lake. The EPA s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative provided another $2.1 million in 2011 to create fish and wildlife habitat by restoring natural features along a portion of the lake s shoreline. The total cost of the project is hard to estimate because numerous projects have made indirect but critical contributions to the health of White Lake. RESOURCE CHALLENGES ADDRESSED: Contaminated sediments that harmed water quality, restrictions on fish consumption, excessive phosphorus loadings that caused nuisance algal growth, aesthetic degradation due to debris and trash along the shore KEY PARTNERS (PUBLIC AND PRIVATE): The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, City of Whitehall, City of Montague, White Lake Public Advisory Council, Grand Valley State University, Muskegon Conservation District, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory TYPES OF JOBS CREATED: Biologists, chemists, toxicologists, ecologists, excavators, truck drivers, heavy equipment operators and general laborers WEB SITE: RESULTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Two cleanup projects removed a total of 97,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments, which improved water quality, improved fish and wildlife populations and bolstered a resurgent tourism industry centered largely on the lake. Large stones known as riprap were removed from the banks of the lake and were replaced with native plants. Great blue herons and other wildlife have been seen returning to White Lake and the planned removal from the Area of Concern list will be a victory for wildlife and local residents alike. 16 GREAT LAKES RESTORATION PROJECTS PRODUCING RESULTS FOR PEOPLE, COMMUNITIES

19 Coastal wetlands restored along Lake Erie OAK HARBOR, OHIO A heron enjoys the habitat in the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. Photo from Flickr/Benimoto. Nearly 200 acres of farmland along Lake Erie were transformed into wetland habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife. PROJECT NAME: Blausey Tract Wetland Restoration in the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge DESCRIPTION: The 171-acre Blausey Tract is one of four different areas at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge where farmland is being transformed into wetland habitat. The project is restoring the natural flow of water through the wetlands and into Lake Erie tributaries. The restored wetland filters nutrients out of runoff from adjacent farm fields, resulting in cleaner water and fewer algal blooms in Lake Erie. Every acre of land at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge that is returned to natural habitat means that more birds and fish can thrive. The project also helps the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service meet its mission of completing large, landscape-level conservation at the refuge and across the Great Lakes basin. APPROXIMATE COST OF PROJECT: $1.3 million to restore nearly 600 acres of coastal wetland; the Blausey Tract was one of four wetland restoration projects at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge RESOURCE CHALLENGES ADDRESSED: Loss of coastal wetlands, loss of fish and wildlife habitat, polluted runoff, and water quality in Lake Erie Restoration Initiative, the Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration TYPES OF JOBS CREATED: Engineers, construction workers, heavy equipment operators, and general laborers WEB SITE: RESULTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: The project restored 171 acres of coastal wetland and marsh habitat, providing more habitat for fish and wildlife and improving water quality in nearby Lake Erie tributaries. HEALING OUR WATERS GREAT LAKES COALITION 17

20 Restored stream could play role in reintroducing trout SUBURBAN CLEVELAND, OHIO, IN THE CITIES OF SOLON AND BENTLEYVILLE Restoring the channel of an Ohio stream that was dammed for decades has cleared the way for the possible reintroduction of native Ohio brook trout. PROJECT NAME: Sulphur Springs Assessment and Restoration DESCRIPTION: Sulphur Springs is a small, coldwater stream in suburban Cleveland that flows into Chagrin Creek, a tributary of Lake Erie. The stream was severely altered by a dam that was built in the stream in the 1930s for recreational purposes. The dam was recently removed, but remnants of the structure remained in the stream and the altered channel was vulnerable to erosion that buried prime fish habitat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gave the Chagrin River Watershed Partners a $46,000 grant to restore a portion of Sulphur Springs and assess the possibility of using the stream as a site for the reintroduction of native Ohio brook trout. The segment of Sulphur Springs that was restored is in the South Chagrin Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks. The Chagrin River watershed is home to some of the last relict populations of native Ohio brook trout, which date back some 10,000 years to the last Ice Age that created the Great Lakes. Through restoration and monitoring, this project will determine whether the stream is suitable for reintroduction of the state-threatened native Ohio brook trout or minnow species that are indicators of healthy headwater streams. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar designated the Sulphur Springs restoration as Ohio s featured project for America s Great Outdoors Initiative, a federal program that supports community-based efforts to restore key rivers, increase recreational opportunities and create local jobs. The Chagrin River Watershed Partners worked with Cleveland Metroparks and the Emerald Necklace Chapter of Trout Unlimited to restore 400 linear feet of the stream and five acres of riparian corridor that was affected by the historic dam and impoundment. Cleveland Metroparks is monitoring the effects of urbanization on the stream and the Chagrin River The restored channel of Sulphur Springs is more hospitable to fish. Photo courtesy of Chagrin River Watershed Partners. Watershed Partners produced materials that show local residents and government officials how to protect the stream by better managing land use, reducing stormwater runoff and planting shade trees and other native vegetation. APPROXIMATE COST OF PROJECT: $46,000, which was provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service s Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership RESOURCE CHALLENGES ADDRESSED: Loss of fish and wildlife habitat, altered stream flows, erosion and excessive sedimentation KEY PARTNERS (PUBLIC AND PRIVATE): Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Cleveland Metroparks, the Emerald Necklace Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service TYPES OF JOBS CREATED: Biologists, ecologists, environmental engineers, civil engineers, heavy equipment operators and general laborers WEB SITE: RESULTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: The project restored 400 linear feet of stream and five acres of high quality riparian habitat in the Chagrin River watershed. Sulphur Springs is being evaluated as a possible site for the reintroduction of native Ohio brook trout. 18 GREAT LAKES RESTORATION PROJECTS PRODUCING RESULTS FOR PEOPLE, COMMUNITIES

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