WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow today applauded the announcement of over $1.3 million in federal funds to help four projects in West Michigan focus on: controlling and combatting invasive species, restoring wildlife habitats, implementing new conservation measures, and conducting on-farm educational research. The funding comes through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
“The Great Lakes are part of our way of life in Michigan, driving economic growth and providing safe drinking water for over 40 million people,” said Senator Peters, a member of the Great Lakes Task Force. “The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is essential to ensuring the Great Lakes are protected for generations to come. I applaud today’s announcement, which will support efforts across West Michigan to prevent the spread of harmful invasive species and preserve the Great Lakes as a precious resource.”
“The Great Lakes are part of who we are and our way of life,” said Senator Stabenow, Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force. “This funding will help fight invasive species and restore hundreds of acres of shoreline and wetlands in West Michigan. Today’s announcement further underscores the importance of partnerships like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which invests in the health of our Great Lakes and waterways.”
Grand Valley State University will receive $405,275 to fight invasive plant species along 100 acres of coastal shoreline and wetlands in Lake Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The Grand Valley Metropolitan Council will receive $340,065 for habit restoration along coastal shorelines and wetlands within urban areas of the Lower Grand River Watershed. The Calhoun Conservation District will receive $160,377 to reduce sediment and nutrient transport to Lake Michigan by constructing a two-stage ditch in the Battle Creek River watershed. The Macatawa Area Coordinating Council will receive $473,111 to implement agricultural best management practices and to participate in on-farm experiential learning programs in Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan.
Senators Stabenow and Peters have been strong advocates for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is a multi-year plan to restore and preserve the Great Lakes by eliminating toxins, combating invasive species, restoring habitats, and promoting the general health of the Lakes.