Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grant Awarded to Sterling State Park for Habitat Work
Contact: Glenn Palmgren, 517-373-7844 or Mary Dettloff, 517-335-3014
Agency: Natural Resources and Environment
Jan. 5, 2011
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment today announced the receipt of a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grant totaling $2,850,000 from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The grant will fund important habitat restoration work at Sterling State Park, located near Monroe and the River Raisin delta.
A public information meeting to discuss projects the grant will support is scheduled for Jan. 19 from 7 to 9 p.m., in Room Z-259/260 of Monroe County Community College’s La-Z-Boy Center.
In 1987, a portion of the River Raisin was designated as a “Great Lakes Area of Concern” as a result of chemical contamination and loss of fish and wildlife habitat due to urban and industrial land use practices. Great Lakes Areas of Concern are designated geographic areas within the Great Lakes basin that show severe environmental degradation. The restoration projects at Sterling and the river delta will contribute significantly to the potential for delisting of the River Raisin as a Great Lakes Area of Concern.
“The habitat restoration projects at Sterling State Park will be extremely beneficial to species that inhabit the River Raisin and Lake Erie,” said Dan Stefanski, who is a member of the city of Monroe’s Commission on the Environment and the chair of the Public Advisory Council for the River Raisin Area of Concern. “The work being completed at the park will go a long way towards helping us achieve the goals set for remedying fish and wildlife use impairments that are listed for our Area of Concern.”
The projects will:
- Restore approximately 25 acres of emergent and submergent Great Lakes marsh and 25 acres of lakeplain prairie at Sterling State Park.
- Repair dikes and install water control for 310 acres of marsh at the park that will provide a much needed stopover habitat for shorebirds and also facilitate invasive plant control.
- Control invasive phragmites (Phragmites australis) in the north River Raisin delta wetlands on approximately 1,100 acres of public and private land for five years.
- Collect baseline data and monitor wetland communities and key species in the north River Raisin delta wetlands.
“Over 95 percent of our wetlands along the western shore of Lake Erie have been lost, including most of the River Raisin delta wetlands,” said Ray Fahlsing of the DNRE’s Recreation Division, which will oversee the project. “It is exciting to be involved with a project that will actually reverse wetland loss and enhance habitat for fish and wildlife.”
Persons with disabilities needing accommodations for this meeting should contact Jamie Allen at 734-289-2715 a minimum of five business days before this meeting. Requests made fewer than five business days before this meeting may not be accommodated.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment is committed to the conservation, protection, management, and accessible use and enjoyment of the state’s environment, natural resources, and related economic interests for current and future generations. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/dnre.