Sustaining the Au Sable River, and Info on Michigan Water Trails

The Environment Report, with Mr. Great Lakes (Jeff Kart). As heard 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM.

1 – A major effort to restore and enhance the Au Sable River Watershed just received a big boost.

The effort has received a national grant to address problems like erosion, invasive species and habitat loss across the entire watershed.

Huron Pines, a nonprofit in Gaylord, will manage the program.

au sable river canoe water trails michigan
Photo by Christopher Woo

The funding comes from a public-private partnership called Sustain Our Great Lakes, coordinated by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Sustain Our Great Lakes has contributed about half of the money to the $1.2 million effort.

The funds will be used in 2014 and 2015 to:

  • reconnect at least 35 miles of stream for fish passage

  • replace at least 12 road-stream crossings

  • and install practices to reduce erosion and improve fish passage, according to Huron Pines.

The work also will control 150 acres of invasive species and restore native habitat, control erosion at nine streambank sites, and enhance instream habitat at priority locations.

Huron Pines is working with additional partners and the public to raise the last half of the $1.2 million.

Sustain Our Great Lakes awarded a total of $8.4 million in grants to projects in Michigan, other states, and Ontario. Other funded Michigan projects include $150,000 to Lake Superior State University for measures to improve reproductive success and nesting habitat for the endangered Great Lakes piping plover.

. . .

2 – Michigan water trails are highlighted on a new website. Just don’t get your computer wet.

The Michigan Great Lakes Water Trails site is a clearinghouse of information on where you can paddle a kayak or canoe, including put-in and take-out spots.

Previously, paddlers had to search multiple websites to gather this type of information.

The one-stop-shop at michiganwatertrails.org allows user to click on a region of the state – like the Thumb or Northeast Michigan –  and find information on local water trails and associated amenities, according to a news release.

The water trails information is being updated by community organizations and other users.

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