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Habitat Grant Summaries

Due to a budget impasse, the FY 1996 grant assistance award process was different from previous years. No guidance document soliciting new preproposals was published. Nevertheless, unsolicited preproposals were received from grantees wishing to extend the length of their projects and expand their original work without changing the scope of work. All of the projects receiving this year's funding have been subjected to GLNPO rigorous, competitive review process the year the first award was made. Additionally, the GLNPO Ecological Protection and Restoration Team reviewed the new preproposals based on project urgency, enhancement of original work, or new and unique ideas.


Bad River/Kakagon Watershed Management Project Coordinator
(GL985001-02-0: $40,184)
Recipient: Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
GLNPO Project Officer: Karen Rodriguez, (312) 353-2690

The goals of the Watershed Program Coordinator are: to educate the Tribe and the watershed public about ecosystem protection actions being taken by the Tribal Natural Resources Department, and to coordinate with other resource agencies in the watershed to protect the entire ecosystem.

Chicago Regional Biodiversity Recovery Plan
(GL985200-02-0: $150,000)
Recipient: The Nature Conservancy, Illinois
GLNPO Project Officer: Karen Rodriguez, (312) 353-2690

A Chicago Wilderness Recovery Plan will be developed with full involvement of the Chicago Wilderness 50+ member organizations. It will provide the framework for public understanding and for action by the organizations working to protect and restore the biodiversity of the greater Chicago region to a sustainable condition. The plan will build upon the biodiversity atlas presently being prepared with EPA support. It will include a short introduction and history of the biodiversity in the metropolitan region, a vision of ecological recovery, indicators that can be used to identify conditions and measurable results, overall analysis of major issues in terms of both present conditions and the stressors causing degradation, challenges confronting the region and ways of dealing with them, and major action steps needed.

Improvement of the Scientific Basis for Oak Savanna Restoration and Habitat Effects on Karner Blue Butterfly Viability
(DW14947694-01-0: $26,500)
Recipient: National Biological Service
GLNPO Project Officer: Karen Rodriguez, (312) 353-2690

This project is providing a scientific basis for restoration of savannas and conservation of the Karner blue butterfly and other savanna biodiversity in southern Lake Michigan.

Lake Ontario Dune Restoration Workshop
(GL985787-01-0: $13,999)
Recipient: Cornell University
GLNPO Project Officer: Robert Beltran, (312) 353-0826

The project will organize and hold a workshop of local community leaders, governmental agencies, non-government organizations, including The Ontario Dunes Coalition and the public, to inform the community of the need and rationale for steps already underway, and to coordinate actions and explore new directions in preserving and restoring the eastern Lake Ontario coastal dunes ecosystem.

Lake Superior Habitat Coordinator
(GL985189-01-0: $70,000)
Recipient: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
GLNPO Project Officer: Rich Greenwood, (312) 886-3853

Project goals include: strengthening bi-national and inter-agency involvement in ecosystem-based planning in the Lake Superior Watershed; increasing the involvement of citizens in local resource management decision-making and activities; facilitating the implementation of projects to identify, protect, and restore sites of important habitat.

Marketing Wetlands for Profit
(GL995652-02-0: $200,000)
Recipient: Maumee Valley Resource Conservation and Development Area
GLNPO Project Officer: Karen Rodriguez, (312) 353-2690

This project is demonstrating how construction and management of wetlands coupled with sub-irrigation can be economically profitable for farmers. It is reducing the adverse impacts of agricultural runoff in the Maumee River basin. It is expected to help farmers, environmental groups, farm groups, natural resource conservation and environmental protection agencies and the agricultural industry personnel learn how wetlands can be used together to increase farm incomes and improve the environment.

Mighty Acorns Youth Stewardship Educational Program
(GL995612-02-0: $46,260)
Recipient: The Nature Conservancy, Illinois
GLNPO Project Officer: Karen Rodriguez, (312) 353-2690

This project continues the work of the Mighty Acorns in Southeast Chicago. Over the course of the one-year project period, teachers in new schools will be trained in Mighty Acorns outdoor education program techniques and teachers already participating in the program will be able to expand their skills by attending workshops. It is expected several hundred students from the southeast side will participate in the program as a result of this project.

Protection and Restoration of Sandy Pond Peninsula
(GL985129-02-0: $85,400)
Recipient: The Nature Conservancy of Central and Western New York
GLNPO Project Officer: Robert Beltran, (312) 353-0826

This project will build on the original Sandy Pond grant and transfer methods to the adjacent El Dorado Beach preserve. It was acquired by TNC to protect the shoreline and dunes, a stopover for migrating shorebirds. The community of private landowners will be engaged in this conservation initiative. This is the most important ecological megasite in eastern Lake Ontario.

St. Louis River Wild Rice Restoration Project
(GL5651-02-0: $32,000)
Recipient: Fond Du Lac Reservation
GLNPO Project Officer: Rich Greenwood, (312) 886-3853

This project continued the tasks of collecting river and lake wild rice and seeding new areas of the St. Louis River. Fish exclosures are being placed in key areas on the river to determine affect on the new wild rice stands.


Building a Conservation Vision for Great Lakes Biodiversity
(GL985513-01-0: $200,000)
Recipient: The Nature Conservancy, Great Lakes Program
GLNPO Project Officer: Karen Rodriguez, (312) 353-2690

The project will involve ecoregional prioritization in the Maumee Lake Plain and Northern Great Lakes. The objectives are to develop clear objectives and recommendations for conservation of natural communities and vulnerable species at a regional level, identify a portfolio of conservation sites within ecologically defined local areas, and prepare a summary report.

Conifer Restoration in the Bad River Watershed
(GL985515-01-0: $46,700)
Recipient: Northland College
GLNPO Project Officer: Karen Rodriguez, (312) 353-2690

This two year project will engage work study students, volunteers, and internship crews in conifer (white cedar, hemlock, and white pine) planting and enclosure-building. Five methods of conifer regeneration will be tested at sites across the Chequamegon region. As a small pilot study, exclosures will be built to assess deer browse damage to conifers. The result will be the establishment of a tree planting program and assessment of success as part of Northland's regular curricular activities.

Developing a Plan for Protecting and Restoring Successional Habitats on Presque Isle State Park by Controlling Exotic Plant Species
(GL985589-01-0: $25,000)
Recipient: Presque Isle Partnership
GLNPO Project Officer: Karen Rodriguez, (312) 353-2690

The purpose of this project is to develop a comprehensive plan for dealing with invasive species such as Phragmites, reed canary grass, Japanese bush honeysuckle, purple loosestrife, and hybrid cattail. Vegetative maps will detail threatened habitats and their associated species as well as control measures. The result will be a healthier Presque Isle State Park after the elimination of invasive vegetation.

Go Native! With Michigan Plants
(GL985594-01-0: $150,000)
Recipient: Michigan Association of Conservation Districts
GLNPO Project Officer: Karen Rodriguez, (312) 353-2690

This three year project will stimulate the growth, marketing, and distribution of a wide variety of local plant genotypes through Michigan's Conservation District's Earth Enhancement Catalogs. Stewardship of public and private property will be encouraged by providing landowners one-on-one technical assistance and distributing plant materials. The result will be the greater ability of conservation districts to provide information on biodiversity to their clients, thus enabling landowners to see the value in restoring formerly degraded ecosystems.

Grand Calumet River Basin Biodiversity Conservation Plan
(GL985556-01-0: $137,000)
Recipient: The Nature Conservancy, Northwest Indiana Office
GLNPO Project Officer: Karen Rodriguez, (312) 353-2690

This two year project will fill information gaps with a targeted inventory of potential habitat sites, develop an updated ownership list, conduct an overall assessment of undeveloped or underdeveloped properties including brownfields and rights-of-ways, identify and analyze current and potential stressors to target areas, develop a conservation plan for biodiversity, and identify strategies to restore the ecological structure and function of degraded areas in this Area of Concern. Pilot restoration projects will be identified and implemented. The result will be an improvement in the ecological health of the Area of Concern and a collaboration of many partners who will steward the area's natural resources.

Grand Portage Reservation Coaster Brook Trout Habitat Protection Program
(GL985618-01-0: $48,659)
Recipient: Grand Portage Reservation Tribal Council
GLNPO Project Officer: Karen Rodriguez, (312) 353-2690

This project will assess the reasons for the loss of the coaster brook trout and formulate a management plan to restore fish to natural levels. Areas of habitat will be quantified to determine the extent of habitat in the Grand Portage area. After delineation as habitat, these areas will be monitored and legally protected from degradation. The results will be no further loss of coaster brook trout and an increase in understanding of impacts to the species.

Habitat Design for Mussel Restoration
(DW14947824-01-0: $56,000)
Recipient: United States Geological Survey
GLNPO Project Officer: Karen Rodriguez, (312) 353-2690

This project will assess substrate particle size, percentage of streamflow that is groundwater, channel geomorphology, water quality, and available food resources in extant mussel beds in the Cedar Creek, Fish Creek, and West Branch sub-basins of the St. Joseph River. A fact sheet that highlights important habitat and water quality characteristics necessary for the conservation of freshwater mussel biodiversity will be developed. The result of this project will be to advance our understanding of freshwater mussel habitat and water quality characteristics, and a template of preferred conditions so that restoration efforts can be guided by sound scientific understanding.

Identification of Lake Sturgeon Habitat in the St. Lawrence River
(GL985675-01-0: $20,283)
Recipient: State University of New York College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry
GLNPO Project Officer: Robert Beltran, (312) 353-0826

The project seeks to obtain new information about the now poorly-understood topic and specific habitat preferences by the critical juvenile stage Lake sturgeon in the St. Lawrence River near Massena, New York. University personnel and students will collect, radiotag, release, and monitor the movements of 2-5 year-old juveniles. Preferred areas will be characterized for hydrologic, limnologic, physiographic, and biological attributes. Analysis of this information may provide important information about the food and habitat needs and preferences of Lake Sturgeon.

Implementation of the Marsh Monitoring Program in the Great Lakes Basin
(GL985590-01-0: $52,100)
Recipient: Great Lakes United
GLNPO Project Officer: Richard Greenwood, (312) 886-3853

This project will build upon a baseline program conducted in 1994 through 1996 by the Long Point Bird Observatory in Ontario. Spatial and temporal comparisons of marsh bird and amphibian populations in AOCs versus other marshes both on a local and basinwide scale will provide an indication of the success of habitat rehabilitation activities in individual AOCs and an ongoing measure of the health of the marshes and wildlife communities on local and regional scales. At least 1750 stations will be surveyed for marsh birds and amphibians throughout the basin. Information is collected by about 500 trained volunteers using an established protocol. An analysis of work conducted in 1995-96 will be conducted, data from 1997 will be compiled, field manuals and data forms distributed, field work conducted, and results produced and distributed via newsletter and Internet. A final report will be submitted to the binational Advisory Committee. The results will be the indication of the health of wetlands and wildlife across the basin, and an indication of the success of habitat rehabilitation activities in individual AOCs.

Karner Blue Butterfly Habitat/Corridor Establishment
(DW14947822-01-0: $71,000)
Recipient: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
GLNPO Project Officer: Mike Russ, (312) 886-4013

This project will establish a biological corridor appropriate for the sustainability and migration of the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly. Monitoring transects will be established within designated restoration areas to determine woody species densities, canopy cover, and herbaceous species composition. Exotic and woody plant invasions will be reduced through manual removal and prescribed burning. Plantings of native species will ensure a rich native understory. Elementary school classes and park personnel and volunteers will assist in the restoration. The results will be a sustainable Karner blue corridor and an increase in biodiversity through the removal of exotics and the restoration of native prairie and savanna habitat.

Les Cheneaux Compatible Economic Development Project
(GL985489-01-0: $77,500)
Recipient: Les Cheneaux Chamber of Commerce, Cedarville, MI
GLNPO Project Officer: Duane Heaton, (312) 886-6399

The project will support the creation of a local community-driven plan for economic development that depends on and provides for the long-term protection of the rich biological diversity of the area. The project will bring economic development expertise and a facilitated community visioning and planning process to the rural community. Ultimately, the project will result in a shared community vision for economic development and a set of action plans to begin compatible development initiatives.

Les Cheneaux is a largely undeveloped coastal community on the shore of Lake Huron. This remarkably diverse stretch of Great Lakes shoreline in the eastern upper peninsula of Michigan includes two communities and an archipelago of 36 islands. With nine globally-rare natural communities that provide habitat to eleven Federally-listed threatened or endangered species and more the 60 State-listed species, the northern shoreline of Lake Huron is an important resource to the Great Lakes basin.

Mighty Acorns Youth Stewardship Education
(GL995612-02-1: $49,613)
Recipient: The Nature Conservancy, Illinois Office
GLNPO Project Officer: Karen Rodriguez, (312) 353-2690

The project will address the need for public support of ecological restoration of natural areas, particularly education and outreach about these issues to communities that traditionally do not receive stewardship education programs. This project will strengthen and expand the program within the Southeast Chicago and Northwest Indiana region. New schools, teachers, community members and volunteers will be recruited to guide children in small group field experiences. Students will explore natural areas and help focus student learning with stewardship activities such as seed collecting and planting, exotic weed removal, and brush cutting.

Northern Pike Habitat Protection and Restoration Project Phase II
(GL985712-01: $130,000)
Recipient: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
GLNPO Project Officer: Karen Rodriguez, (312) 353-2690

This is an expansion of the successful Northern Pike Habitat Protection and Restoration Project completed in 1996. This grant will restore critical northern pike wetland spawning and rearing habitat within the western shore of the Green Bay coastal zone as identified in Phase 1. This project is in line with the fish community objectives for Green Bay. Success of this project will be quantitatively measured allowing the knowledge gained to be applied in similar systems across the northern pike species extent. The project and budget periods are from 10/1/97 to 9/30/99.

Restoration of Habitats and Natural Processes on the Great Lakes Plain of New York State
(GL985591-01-0: $104,796)
Recipient: The Nature Conservancy of Central and Western New York
GLNPO Project Officer: Robert Beltran, (312) 353-0826

The proposal incorporates three elements all related to the preservation and restoration of habitat elements and natural processes associated with the Lake Ontario plain:

A. Sand Transport in the Barrier Beach Ecosystem of Eastern Lake Ontario - The applicant seeks to address the issue of changes in the coastal processes affecting distribution and transport of beach sands along the barrier beaches of eastern Lake Ontario. The project will bring together expertise and information regarding history, human-induced and natural changes in sand supply and transport, including effects of changes in Lake level regimens. Once information is gathered and disseminated, a coalition will be assembled, to evaluate, recommend, and identify funding for a course of action to correct any human-induced causes and effects upon the natural processes.

B. Restoration of Rush Oak Openings - Work with state, local, and regional partners to develop and effect a joint restoration plan to unite ownerships, and to use volunteer and paid staff to implement restoration of the relict oak savannah community, and to engage local education and outreach media to inform and involve Town residents and local school and university students, and to develop educational materials.

C. Controlling the Spread of Swallowort - This project will develop new techniques for controlling the exotic pest swallowort (Vincetoxicum rossicum). Experimental control treatments at three different sites will contribute to knowledge about the life cycle of this invasive plant and the most effective methods for its control. A manual providing control information for private landowners will be widely distributed throughout the Great Lakes. The result will be increased understanding of how to control an aggressive non-indigenous species which is threatening limestone ecological communities in New York and as far away as Wisconsin.

Restoring Biodiversity to Midwest Oak Savannas in Ohio
(GL985592-01-0: $166,600)
Recipient: Metropolitan Park District of the Toledo Area
GLNPO Project Officer: Rich Greenwood, (312) 886-3853

This two-year restoration project will restore up to 250 acres of oak savanna within the 4000-acre Oak Openings Preserve Metropark in Toledo. Activities will be selective cutting and treating of non-indigenous species, prescribed burning, seed gathering and seed planting. Baseline community plots will measure the success of the cutting, burning and planting. The result will be sites suitable for the release of the Karner blue butterfly, extirpated in the area since 1989. A combination of restoration activities for local volunteers and teacher training will utilize restoration sites to demonstrate the role individuals play in restoration and encourage stewardship for natural communities.

Restoring Invertebrate/Fish Communities in Coastal Wetlands
(DW14947830-01-0: $100,000)
Recipient: USGS Great Lakes Science Center
GLNPO Project Officer: Duane Heaton, (312) -886-6399

This project will evaluate the results of a wetland restoration effort in which management methods for restoring hydrologic connections between diked wetlands and the lakes are being developed. This assessment will provide the information needed to evaluate the results of the project and make any required adjustments. The ability to manage this diked wetland is important for numerous fish and invertebrate species, including a native clam population of 22 species. The results will lead to improved habitat for fish and invertebrates, an increase in emergent and submersed vegetation, and information of restoration of native clams in Great Lakes wetlands.

Sand Mine Ecological Restoration - Grand Mere State Park
(GL985669-01-0: $95,000)
Recipient: Michigan Department of Natural Resources
GLNPO Project Officer: Danielle Green, (312) 886-7594

The project will demonstrate the feasibility of restoring sand mined land to a natural condition supporting high quality native plant communities. The grant will be awarded to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, State Park Stewardship Program. Sand mining is coming to a close on land that is within Grand Mere State Park and which will become part of it under the terms of litigation. State law requires rehabilitation of mined land, but not to levels that approach the very high quality habitats found in the park.

The habitat be restored includes a rare "wet-panne" community associated with Great Lakes sand dune ecosystems. This will be accomplished by shaping the mined land and restoring native plants to provide for this unusual form of wetland. It will demonstrate both the ecological feasibility and the feasibility of cooperation between private industry and government at the state, federal and local levels. Demonstration of both technical and cost effective aspects can provide the basis for strengthening both restoration practices and state law.

St. Clair River Lakeplain Prairie and Oak Savanna Ecosystem Restoration Monitoring
(GL975694-01-0: $51,242)
Recipient: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Division
Project Officer: Duane Heaton, (312) 886-6399

Restoration of three State-owned lakeplain prairie and oak savanna sites activities and public education of the diversity, rarity, and uniqueness of the lakeplain ecosystem will be conducted without GLNPO funding. The GLNPO-funded portion of the project consists of writing and implementing an inventory and monitoring plan for the collection of baseline data on the plants and insects at three State-owned lakeplain prairie and oak savanna restoration sites. The inventory and monitoring work is an integral part of the overall restoration project, as it is essential for evaluating the long-term success of restoration efforts and making future management decisions regarding continued restoration work.

As background, only 0.6 percent of Michigan's original lakeplain prairie and oak savanna communities remain. These communities are considered globally imperiled, with lakeplain wet-mesic prairie to be critically imperiled. Lakeplain communities harbor nineteen species (eleven plants, seven animals) which are State-endangered or threatened, and eight (five plants, three animals) more of special concern. The Federally-threatened Eastern prairie fringed orchid is of particular concern.

Sugarloaf Cove Habitat Restoration
(GL985521-01-0: $138,500)
Recipient: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Project Officer: John Schneider, (312) 886-0880

This project will restore high priority ecological components to the Sugarloaf Cove site, a unique Lake Superior peat-based coastal wetland. A long range site plan will be developed. The hydrology will be restored pending investigation of the subsurface hydrologic conditions. Long term goals and targets for wetland composition and structure of the wetland will be established along with methodologies for future condition. A pilot first phase will serve as a methodological test area followed by the process of restoration of the larger site. Structures will be removed and road corridors restored to native plant communities.

Wentworth - Thornton Prairie Project
(GL985741-01-0: $20,000)
Recipient: Corporation for OpenLands (CorLands)
GLNPO Project Officer: Karen Rodriguez, (312) 353-2690

The Burnham Greenway is a corridor of four remnant natural prairie areas identified by the Illinois Natural Areas Survey and linked by a vacated ConRail railroad right of way which is in the final stages of acquisition by a consortium of local governments. The corridor is in the heavily developed Lake Calumet area of southeast Chicago. Of the four natural areas in the corridor, Calumet and Burnham prairies are being acquired by the Cook County Forest Preserve District. The Wentworth and Thornton Prairies remain to be acquired.

A major barrier to acquisition and completion of the corridor is the complex state of land titles due to the complex history of land ownership including failed housing subdivisions, which were sold, but never built. The County has not been successful in the past in dealing with the problem and it is only because CorLands/Open Lands sorted out land ownership in the Calumet and Burnham prairies that the County was willing to proceed with acquisition. The County has expressed willingness to acquire the remaining two areas if CorLands will provide a similar service for the Wentworth and Thornton Prairies. This proposal would fund development of a feasibility study to serve as a basis for acquisition of the land including analysis of title.


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