More than $2.5 million have been granted by Federal official for projects that aim to combat invasive plant species in Michigan.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), one of the numerous programs of the Obama administration that addresses the biggest environmental challenges that are faced by the waters within the Great Lakes Basin has dispensed the amount, coordinated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council will get $964,922 to aid in the combat of invasive plants along 800 acres of wetland and coastal shoreline in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which includes Lake Huron, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior watersheds.
Local and regional partners will be work with the council in treating invasive phragmites as well as train local groups on the detection of new infestations and to take up stewardship for to control this weed on a long term basis.
Along with its partners, the Wayne County Department of Public Services, which includes a student conservation corps, will also receive $634,756 to implement a pest management program that will control the infestation of phragmites, buckthorn, Eurasian milfoil and garlic mustard in the Lake Erie basin.
The West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission and its local partners will get $153,314 to aid in controlling invasive species in shoreline wetlands in Lake Michigan basin. The Nature Conservancy will get $622,594 to remove these invasive plants, which includes among others Japanese stiltgrass, phragmites, glossy buckthorn and wild carrot in the Oak Openings Region in Michigan and western Lake Erie watershed in Ohio.
$153,314 will be allotted to Alger Conservation District, which will use manual, chemical and biological methods to control invasive species.
The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council have high praises for the distribution of funds even if they are not getting any amount whatsoever from the grant. They say battling invasive species is vital.
Council Executive Director Gail Gruenwald of Tip of the Mitt Watershed is saying, “Invasive species have become more and more of a problem both land as well as water so funding to eliminate has become more important to the watershed and state of Michigan”.
Over $8 million 15 GLRI grants went to regional projects in Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois and New York.
Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman said, “These Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants will be used to target aquatic and terrestrial invasive species in the Great Lakes basin. The projects will also help to thwart the introduction of new invasive species that pose substantial risks to the Great Lakes ecosystem.”