SWMTU receives $40,000 to restore Coldwater River

The Schrems West Michigan TU chapter was awarded $40,750 today by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Sustain Our Great Lakes program to improve habitat on the Coldwater River.

The grant will fund restoration of 2,500 feet of habitat in the Coldwater River to reduce bank erosion and enhance populations of trout and other wildlife.

Clean-up project on the Coldwater River in May 2009.

“This funding will allow Schrems West Michigan TU to showcase the potential of the Coldwater River as an outstanding trout fishery just 20 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids,” said JR Hartman, the conservation chairman of Schrems West Michigan TU.

The Coldwater River is a 34-mile-long trout stream in southeast Kent County that drains into the Thornapple River.  The work will be completed on the Dolan Property, a 127- acre property near Freeport that is owned by Schrems West Michigan TU.

TU will create habitat improvements that will reduce erosion and increase the river’s trout populations. The chapter will monitor the stream’s ecology for five years. The total project cost is $83,000 and will begin this summer.

The grant was one of 25 projects funded by the Sustain Our Great Lakes program. The projects will help protect, restore and enhance the ecological integrity of the lakes and surrounding region by restoring critical aquatic and terrestrial habitats, controlling invasive species, protecting rare natural communities, improving passage for fish and other aquatic organisms, and educating citizens on how to protect the ecosystem.

Coldwater River
Coldwater River

The Sustain Our Great Lakes program is a public–private partnership coordinated by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and funded by ArcelorMittal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S.D.A Forest Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  This year, additional grant funding was provided through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a $475 million initiative to protect, restore and enhance the Great Lakes ecosystem.  The Sustain Our Great Lakes grant program supports habitat restoration and protection, invasive species control, water quality improvements and watershed planning.

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