The U.S Environmental Protection Agency recently announced the award of new funding for major Great Lakes Restoration Initiative projects in the Clinton River Area of Concern totaling nearly $20M.
Senior Advisor to the EPA Administrator Cameron Davis was joined by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, Clinton River Public Advisory Council Chair Lynne Seymour and representatives of the grantees. They announced the projects at the Harbor Club South Apartments near the Clinton River Spillway, which connects the two congressional districts.
“Once completed, the projects we’re announcing today will move the Clinton River AOC toward a more vibrant environment and local economy,” Davis said. “With such strong bipartisan support in Congress, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is producing results in Michigan and across the Great Lakes.”
"Our lakes and rivers are part of who we are and our way of life," U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Co-chair of the Great Lakes Task Force, said. "Investing in the Clinton River watershed is critical to the health and conservation of our waterways and wildlife habitats. This support for our counties, townships and cities will help keep our waters clean and healthy for generations to come."
“The Great Lakes are an economic engine for Michigan, driving industries including tourism, agriculture and commercial shipping, and supporting more than half a million jobs,” Sen. Peters said. “Investments made possible by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative are essential to revitalizing the Great Lakes and the communities that rely on them. I’m proud to help announce nearly $20M in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative investments that will help ensure the Great Lakes are protected for generations to come.”
“This is an important development for everyone who cares about the Clinton River,” Rep. Levin said. “With these federal grants, we are taking a giant step forward toward the restoration of the Clinton River and the eventual removal of this waterway from the list of Great Lakes Areas of Concern. We need to build on this work - not just in the Clinton River, but throughout the Great Lakes - by continuing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is making this progress possible.”
“Those of us who grew up along the shores of the Great Lakes know they are more than just a source of recreation; they are a way of life. Yet, we haven’t been the best environmental stewards and we owe it to future generations to do more to restore and preserve them,” Rep. Miller said. “Throughout my tenure, one of my principal advocacies has been protecting the Great Lakes basin’s water quality as it accounts for 20 percent of the world’s fresh drinking water supply. I am excited to help celebrate these GLRI grants and believe they will go a long way to restore, preserve and protect these beautiful waterways.”
The following projects and grants will be funded:
- Clinton River Corridor Project - City of Sterling Heights ($4,500,000) will improve habitat diversity along a nine-mile section of the Clinton River by creating riffle-pools, managing woody debris, stabilizing stream banks, controlling invasive species and enhancing native vegetation.
- Partridge Creek Commons, McBride Drain and Clinton River Spillway Projects - Macomb County ($6,300,000) will restore more than 32,000 linear feet and almost 90 acres of in-stream, streamside and upland habitat. The projects will control invasive species, plant native vegetation, stabilize and naturalize the shoreline, increase habitat diversity through restoration of riffle and pool complexes, and improve habitat connectivity.
- Clinton River Spillway Project - Macomb County ($2,500,000) will restore the eastern end of the spillway in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The project includes invasive species removal and other restoration efforts near the area where the spillway meets Lake St. Clair.
- Wolcott Mill Metropark Wetland Project - Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority ($335,374) will restore sections of the north branch of the Clinton River floodplain to native grassland and forested wetlands as part of a long-term strategy to address stormwater impacts to the watershed. This project will help restore native wildlife species such as pollinators and grassland birds.
- Galloway Wetland Project - City of Auburn Hills ($140,000) will restore wetlands adjacent to Galloway Creek, a key tributary to the Clinton River, in the City of Auburn Hills. The project includes removing significant debris that had been previously dumped at the project site, allowing for the re-establishment of native wetland vegetation that had historically occupied the site. The wetlands will improve habitat as well as buffer the impacts of stormwater run-off.
- Sylvan Glen Project - City of Troy ($375,000) will restore 3,500 feet of stream, reduce sediment loads from reaching the Clinton River, and improve habitat for aquatic life.
- Harley Ensign/Clinton River Mouth Project - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Interagency Agreement ($2,694,201) will improve fish and wildlife habitat and restore former coastal wetland habitat where the Clinton River meets Lake St. Clair. This project will control invasive species, establish 14 acres of fish habitat and restore 4 acres of upland habitat as well as 6,000 feet of shoreline.
- Shelby Township Stream Bank Stabilization Project - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Interagency Agreement ($914,412) will restore the aquatic and terrestrial habitat on the main stem of the Clinton River by reducing stream bank erosion and re-establishing near-shore habitat.
- The Galloway Creek Fish Passage Project - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Interagency Agreement ($2,202,000) will restore approximately 3,000 linear feet of channel and 2 acres of riparian habitat in Galloway Creek, which will improve floodplain and in-stream connectivity, increase stream channel stability, provide in-channel aquatic habitat, increase habitat diversity and increase shade for riparian wetlands.
About The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was launched in 2010 to accelerate efforts to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water in the world. Since then, three Great Lakes Areas of Concern in the U.S. or shared with Canada have been cleaned up and taken off the bi-national list of Areas of Concern: the Presque Isle Bay AOC (on Lake Erie in Pennsylvania), the Deer Lake AOC (on Lake Superior in Michigan) and the White Lake AOC (on Lake Michigan in Michigan). Twenty seven Areas of Concern remain on the list.
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding has also been used to complete all necessary restoration actions at three additional Areas of Concern: the Waukegan Harbor AOC (on Lake Michigan in Illinois), the Sheboygan River AOC (on Lake Michigan in Wisconsin) and the Ashtabula River AOC (on Lake Erie in Ohio). Environmental monitoring is ongoing at those AOCs to assess their eligibility for delisting. GLRI funding is being used to accelerate cleanup work in all remaining Areas of Concern on the U.S. side of the border. GLRI funding is also used to improve habitat, prevent and control invasive species and reduce runoff. For more information, visit www.glri.us.