SANDUSKY, OH--(Marketwired - September 21, 2016) - Sustain Our Great Lakes partners today announced $5.18 million in grant funding for 19 ecological restoration projects in the Great Lakes basin. Grant recipients will match the new funding with an additional $6.4 million, for a total on-the-ground conservation impact of $11.6 million. The grants announced today will sustain, restore and protect fish, wildlife and habitat in the Great Lakes basin through a focus on restoring coastal wetland habitat and improving the quality and connectivity of streams and riparian habitat.
Sustain Our Great Lakes is a public-private partnership that supports habitat restoration throughout the Great Lakes basin. Administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the program receives funding and other support from ArcelorMittal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service. A significant portion of program funding is provided by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a federal program designed to protect, restore and enhance the Great Lakes ecosystem.
Since 2006, Sustain Our Great Lakes has awarded 264 grants worth nearly $60 million and leveraged an additional $65.2 million in matching contributions, for a total conservation investment of over $125 million.
"At ArcelorMittal, we have a responsibility to protect local biodiversity and ecosystems in the communities where we operate. The Great Lakes, home to more than 35 million people and biologically diverse ecosystems, are no exception," said Bill Steers, general manager of communications and corporate responsibility at ArcelorMittal Americas. "As a company, we are deeply committed to forging public-private partnerships to leverage our strengths and resources to conserve our environment and protect vital natural resources. ArcelorMittal is proud to be a part of Sustain Our Great Lakes, an example of how collaboration between industry and government is key to achieving immense ecological impact."
"Forging partnerships is what conservation is all about -- and the Sustain Our Great Lakes Program continues to build relationships between private and public organizations to leverage funds and achieve truly meaningful habitat restoration on-the-ground for fish, wildlife, and local communities," said Charlie Wooley, Midwest Deputy Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The work funded in 2016 includes improving passage for fish and other aquatic organisms, controlling invasive species, permanently protecting important habitat, restoring wetland hydrology, and improving stream habitat structure. Collectively, the funded projects will:
- Reopen 65 miles of river for fish passage and restore 7 miles of stream and riparian habitat
- Remove or bypass 15 barriers to aquatic organism passage
- Restore and enhance more than 1,500 acres of wetlands and associated uplands
- Permanently protect 397 acres
"The $5.18 million in Sustain Our Great Lakes grants announced today will build on the successes achieved through this longstanding public-private partnership," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO at NFWF. "The grants will support a range of critical conservation actions and benefit a wide array of fish and wildlife, including species such lake sturgeon, brook trout, and wetland bird species."
For a complete list of the grants announced today, please click here.
Visit www.sustainourgreatlakes.org to learn more about the funded projects and to find more information on the Sustain Our Great Lakes program, including applicant eligibility, funding priorities and submission requirements. Follow the program on Facebook and Twitter (@SOGL) to keep up with the latest Great Lakes news and program announcements.
About Sustain Our Great Lakes Partner Organizations
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation's wildlife and habitats. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions. NFWF works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most intractable conservation challenges. Over the last three decades, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $3.5 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
ArcelorMittal is the world's leading steel and mining company, with a presence in 60 countries and an industrial footprint in 19 countries. Guided by a philosophy to produce safe, sustainable steel, we are the leading supplier of quality steel in the major global steel markets including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging, with world-class research and development and outstanding distribution networks.
Through our core values of sustainability, quality and leadership, we operate responsibly with respect to the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, contractors and the communities in which we operate. For more information about ArcelorMittal, visit: www.corporate.arcelormittal.com or www.usa.arcelormittal.com.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) leads the nation's environmental science, research, education, and assessment efforts. The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people. For more information, visit www.epa.gov.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is to work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
U.S. Forest Service
Established in 1905, the U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. For more information, visit www.fs.fed.us.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our other social media channels.
U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that works with landowners and managers through voluntary conservation planning and assistance to help keep private working lands productive and to ensure a healthy environment for generations to come. NRCS professional conservationists consider soil, water, air, plants, animals, humans, and energy in planning resource management systems for landowners and land managers. Those professionals also work with conservation districts, local communities, state and federal agencies, and other conservation organizations to identify local priority resource concerns and develop plans to improve and protect the natural resources, often for entire watersheds. In simpler terms, NRCS's focus is "Helping People Help the Land." For more information, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov.
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