DNR accepting pre-proposals for the next round of Aquatic Habitat Grant Program funding

This habitat restoration project is being coordinated by the Anglers of the Au Sable, who have hired recently retired DNR fisheries biologist Steve Sendek to oversee the effort. Sendek, who had worked on the Au Sable River system for much of his career, said the placement of new cover and restoration of aging structures will help manage the sand, which is covering up valuable gravel. Part of the project involves busing a large woody debris structure just upstream from the Twin Branch Bridge, which Sendek said was poorly designed and causes increased sedimentation. The structure will trap sand that is moving downstream and will eventually be an island with vegetation growing on it that will improve stream function.

The DNR currently is accepting pre-proposals for the next round of Aquatic Habitat Grant Program funding. This program is focused on supporting projects that either protect intact aquatic habitat (the places where aquatic species live) or rehabilitate aquatic habitat that has become degraded.

The program this year is offering $1.25 million. Selected projects will emphasize:

· Rehabilitation of degraded aquatic resources.

· Development of self-sustaining aquatic communities that provide for continuing outdoor recreation opportunities and natural resource-based economies.

· Development of strong relationships, partnerships and new expertise with respect to aquatic habitat protection and recovery.

Projects can address issues on rivers, inland lakes or the Great Lakes.

Funding is available to local, state, federal and tribal governments and nonprofit groups for single- and multiple-year projects and will be awarded through an open, competitive process.

Minimum grant amounts will be set at $25,000 with the maximum amount being the amount of funds available for the grant cycle. Smaller projects within the same region addressing similar issues and system processes can be bundled into a single grant proposal package in order to reach minimum grant amount requirements, if necessary.

All applicants must complete and submit a three-page pre-proposal for review by the DNR’s Fisheries Division. Pre-proposals must be submitted by email to Chip Kosloski at kosloskic3@michigan.gov no later than Monday, Aug. 27. Applicants will be notified by Friday, Sept. 28, and, if successful, will be invited to submit a full application. An invitation to submit a full application does not guarantee project funding.

This program is funded by revenues from fishing and hunting license fees. The detailed program handbook (including timeline) and pre-proposal guidelines and forms are available at michigan.gov/dnr-grants. For more information, contact Joe Nohner at 517-284-6236 or Chip Kosloski at 517-284-5965.


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