CHICAGO, Sept. 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sustain Our Great Lakes partners today released a new report that summarizes Great Lakes restoration efforts supported by the program during its first 10 years. Administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in partnership with ArcelorMittal and five federal agencies, Sustain Our Great Lakes provides grants to sustain, protect and restore fish, wildlife and habitat across the Great Lakes Basin.
The new report celebrates the first full decade of this innovative public‒private collaboration, with an emphasis on the on-the-ground outcomes the program has helped achieve. The report is available to download at www.sustainourgreatlakes.org.
From providing lake sturgeon access to historic spawning habitat on the Menominee River, to reestablishing wild rice beds in the St. Louis River estuary, to improving hundreds of acres of coastal wetlands in the Maumee River Area of Concern, Sustain Our Great Lakes has helped support many of the most exciting restoration efforts in the basin during the past decade.
Since 2006, the program has awarded 245 grants to 128 organizations, directing more than $113 million to on-the-ground projects. This investment has been focused toward four priority issues, including aquatic connectivity, stream and riparian habitat, wetlands, and shoreline habitat. Altogether, program grants have provided support for the restoration of:
- 1,698 miles of fish passage
- 198 miles of stream and riparian habitat
- 29,024 acres of wetland and associated upland habitat
- 4,160 acres of shoreline habitat
"These outcomes, made possible by the long-term commitments of our partners, represent significant improvements for the health of the Great Lakes Basin," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. "We are excited to continue this important work for the Great Lakes as we enter the second decade of this collaboration."
"ArcelorMittal is proud to be a long-standing partner of Sustain Our Great Lakes, which has delivered proven results over the last 10 years to help restore and protect water quality and habitat throughout the Great Lakes Basin," said Bill Steers, general manager of communications and corporate responsibility at ArcelorMittal Americas. "We look forward to continue leveraging the strengths of this public‒private partnership to advance outcomes that have significant ecological impact on this vital natural resource."
NFWF manages the program with funding and other support from ArcelorMittal, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. A significant portion of program funding is provided by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a federal initiative designed to protect, restore and enhance the Great Lakes ecosystem.
"The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has afforded the federal partners unprecedented momentum to achieve truly landscape-scale conservation of our Great Lakes natural resources," said Charlie Wooley, Midwest Deputy Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "The Sustain Our Great Lakes partnership has paired this public momentum with our private partners to create a powerhouse for ecological restoration that will benefit the Great Lakes for many generations to come."
CONTACT: Todd Hogrefe, 612-716-4089
Source:National Fish and Wildlife Foundation