Fish Habitat and Electric Vehicle Grants, Boat Landing Blitz

For Friday, June 25, 2021

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1 – Seventeen fish habitat conservation projects across the state will share more than $2.1 million in grants administered by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Officials say the work will protect and rehabilitate fish habitats across the state, while in many cases improving public safety by removing dams.

Au Sable River, Michigan. Credit: cseeman

The projects are supported by an additional $616,000 in matching partner contributions.

The Fisheries Habitat Grant program provides funding for a variety of activities. 

Funding comes from fishing license sales, State of Michigan general funds and a settlement with Consumers Energy is distributed in the Au Sable, Manistee and Muskegon river watersheds.

When completed, the projects will reconnect fish passage on more than 250 miles of streams. 

This includes coldwater habitats such as the Au Sable River that provide greater resilience to warming. 

2 – The state is offering a second round of funding for electric, hydrogen fuel cell or diesel-electric commercial and mass transit vehicles.

Grants also can be used to buy charging stations for electric vehicles.

Applications are being accepted through Aug. 20 by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. 

A total of $16 million through the department’s Fuel Transformation Program will go to replace vehicles including medium- and heavy-duty diesel trucks, shuttle and transit buses. 

Individual grants range from $50,000 to $3 million. 

Program goals include reducing nitrogen oxide emissions.

The grants are supported with Volkswagen diesel settlement funds allocated to Michigan.

3 – A third-annual Landing Blitz starts Saturday, June 26, and runs through July 4. 

It will involve hundreds of organizations across the Great Lakes region coming together to educate boaters and the public about the risks of spreading aquatic invasive species, or AIS.

Volunteers will join paid inspectors at boat launches to educate boaters on how to prevent the spread of AIS, ways to identify AIS, and how to report an AIS discovery. 

Locations include the Hampton Township boat launch on Saginaw Bay.

Properly inspecting and cleaning boats, trailers and other equipment helps prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, which are recognized as one of the most significant threats to the ecological and economic health of the Great Lakes.

Last year’s Landing Blitz reached 128,000 people at more than 1,000 public and private boat landings, and an additional 830,000 people online.

For more information on the Great Lakes AIS Landing Blitz, see www.glc.org/blitz.

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Friday mornings in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Public Radio 90.1 FM (listen). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

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