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NOAA Awards Nearly $5 Million to Great Lakes Restoration

NOAA’s Restoration Center works beyond our coasts—we’re addressing habitat loss in the Great Lakes region, too. We recently awarded nearly $5 million to eight projects throughout the region, to restore environmentally degraded areas. The funding will be used to remove dams and barriers, construct fish passage, clean up marine debris, restore wetlands, and remove invasive species.

This year we funded both shovel-ready projects and engineering and design projects. This allows us to support current efforts to restore the watershed, as well future projects that will have significant benefits to Great Lakes restoration.

This year, projects included:

  • Wayne Road Dam Removal and Habitat Improvement Project (Wayne, Michigan): We awarded $1 million to the Alliance of Rouge Communities to remove the Wayne Road Dam. This will restore fish passage to migratory species such as salmon, walleye, northern pike and small mouth bass, and improve shoreline habitat. It will also reconnect 22 miles of the Rouge River with the Great Lakes.
  • Habitat Restoration in the Maumee Area of Concern (Oak Harbor, Ohio):  We awarded $1.3million to The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They will restore and enhance 512 acres of critical coastal wetland and marsh habitat within Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. The project will reconnect 127 acres of wetlands to Lake Erie.
  • Buffalo River RiverBend Habitat Restoration Project (Buffalo, New York): We awarded $167,000 to the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper to develop plans to restore and soften 1,520 feet river shoreline. The shoreline is currently channelized and made of hard materials like steel which can contribute to erosion and degrade and alter habitat. Additionally, almost four acres of shoreline and riparian habitat will be stabilized and planted, creating a 100-foot vegetated buffer area along the river.

These projects are supported by the NOAA Restoration Center with funding provided by the U.S. EPA via President Obama’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is a collaborative effort between the EPA and 15 other federal agencies to build on existing and current work to restore the Great Lakes.

View a complete list of the projects being funded in the Great Lakes..



Volunteers planting native plants near Elephant Seal Cove on Santa Barbara Island
Habitat restoration in the Great Lakes region—Muskegon Lake, Michigan.