Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Network and Fund FALL 2000 – GRANT RECIPIENTS

Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Network and Fund FALL 2000 – GRANT RECIPIENTS

The Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Network and Fund empowers citizens to take action at the community level to protect and restore wetlands, shorelines, rivers, lakes, and other aquatic habitats throughout the Great Lakes Basin. This goal is accomplished by providing consultation and financial resources, information sharing, and fostering communication between citizens and organizations working to protect aquatic habitats. The Network and Fund is a project of the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, funded by a grant from the C.S. Mott Foundation. Since the inception of the Network and Fund in 1996, over 200 grants have been made to grassroots initiatives, totaling over $350,000.

The Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Network and Fund Fall 2000 funding cycle again received far more creative and ecologically significant funding proposals than it was able to fund. Eleven of these proposals were funded for groups in Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Ontario, with the grants ranging from $500 to $3,500. Grant projects included creating a handbook of the state of aquatic habitats in the mid-Michigan region to assist with future decision-making, loon protection advocacy, wetland protection projects and more.

The Network and Fund provides two types of grants programs. The mini-grants program described above provides two yearly funding cycles with grants ranging from $500 to $3,500. The deadline for the Spring 2001 funding cycle is March 31. The second program, Special Opportunity Grants, provides up to $500 for projects that do not fit the mini-grants program timeline. For more information or an application, see the GLAHNF website (address below) or contact Jill Ryan at the Network and Fund (231) 347-1181.

The following projects were funded in the most recent cycle of grant funding. For more information on projects, see the GLAHNF website,

Ohio Environmental Council was awarded a $2500 grant for “Starting Up-Friends of Euclid Creek,” which will facilitate the development of a watershed group on Euclid Creek and provide funds to that group to develop a watershed action plan. The purpose of this project is to create sustainable local efforts on Euclid Creek to implement new strategies to protect and restore aquatic habitats in their watershed, thereby increasing water quality. For more information contact:

Ohio Environmental Council
Jeff Skelding
1207 Grandview Ave. Ste. 201
Columbus, OH 43212
(614) 487-7506
(614) 487-7510 Fax

New York’s Buffalo Audubon Society received a grant of $1500 for the Urban Wetlands Outdoor Education to Promote Preservation program. This is an uncommon wetland, completely surrounded by residential neighborhoods, the largest undeveloped green space left in North Tonawanda, NY. The project will conduct a baseline survey of the property’s borders and features, create a professional, educational trail brochure/map to build upon the neighboring high school’s volunteer trail building projects, produce and install trail markers, and create and install a large, sanctuary identification sign at the trail head, creating an increased community consensus on the value of preservation. For more information contact:

Buffalo Audubon Society, Inc.
William P. McKeever
712 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 842-0558
(716) 457-1378 Fax

Ohio’s West Creek Preservation Committee (WCPC) was awarded a grant of $1500 for the West Creek Watershed Awareness and Preservation Campaign. The project will continue and broaden the WCPC efforts to increase public awareness of the West Creek Watershed, fostering support and collaboration in the protection of the natural resources of this watershed. WCPC advocates the protection of riparian corridors and biologically significant areas of the watershed through the creation, expansion, and management of the new 160 acre West Creek Preserve in the city of Parma, and the creation of a connecting greenway and trail network. For more information contact:

West Creek Preservation Committee
David Vasarhelyi, Director
PO Box 347113
Parma, OH 44134
(330) 468-6461
(330) 468-6461 Fax

The New York Conservation Education Fund received a $3300 grant for the Dombind in the U.S. project. Dombind, an effluent from the pulping of wood and recycled cardboard, used for years in Ontario, Canada as a dust suppressant for rural roads is now likely being shipped to the United States as a product. Dombind has several qualities that make it particularly harmful to aquatic communities: it dissolves readily in water, it contains dioxins that could contaminate roadside habitats, nearby wetlands or waterways and shallow drinking water wells. The New York League of Conservation Voters will lead a bi-national coalition to identify where Dombind is being used in the Great Lakes Basin and whether it may be harming aquatic habitats. This collaboration will then be used as a model for future cross-border collaborations for the Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Network and Fund. For more information contact:

New York Conservation Education Fund
Dana Bobinchek
775 Main Street, Suite 230
Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 856-0457
(716) 856-0458 Fax

Minnesota’s Superior Hiking Trail Association (SHTA) was awarded $500 for the Teaching Leave No Trace Ethics program. To prevent the adverse effects on the Superior Hiking Trail and its surrounding environment, including aquatic habitats, caused by the increased number of people using the trail, SHTA will provide education for trail users. The result of educating trail users on Leave No Trace techniques will benefit the environment including the reduction of stream and river pollution caused by runoff from the trail and campsite areas. For more information contact:

Superior Hiking Trail Association
Nancy Odden, Project Coordinator
PO Box 4
Two Harbors, MN 55616
(218) 834-2700
(218) 834-4436 Fax

Ontario’s Toronto Bay Initiative (TBI) was awarded a grant of $3200 for the Maple Leaf Aquatic Habitat Project. Situated in the heart of downtown Toronto on the waterfront of Toronto Bay, this project applies to a 1.1 hectare portion of Maple Leaf Quay known as Maple Leaf Quay 6. The site is currently occupied by a parking lot, but in the summer of 2001 the City of Toronto will tear up this parking lot to create a park. The site includes 100 metres of Toronto Bay shoreline. TBI will involve local residents in the design of the aquatic habitat component, advocate to see the park plans expanded to include an aquatic nearshore habitat component in the waters adjacent to the Peter Street Basin, and develop an environmental education component. For more information contact:

Toronto Bay Initiative (TBI)
Jason Thorne, Coordinator
207 Queen’s Quay West. Suite 403
Toronto, Ontario M5J1A7
(416) 943-8080 Ext. 227
(416) 943-8068 Fax

Ontario’s Environmental Bureau of Investigation received a $3500 grant to support the development of a Water Keeper Program for the north shore of Lake Ontario from Niagara Falls to the Thousand Islands. The Keeper Program employs a full-time Keeper and has a boat in order to carry out water monitoring and citizen education programs and the investigation of potential pollution sites. The grant will provide support to increase citizen involvement in the program. For more information contact:

Environmental Bureau of Investigation
Mark Mattson, Executive Director
Elizabeth Fawcett, Director of Development
225 Brunswick Ave
Toronto, ON M5S2M6
(416) 964-9223, Ext. 240
(416) 964-8239 Fax

Ontario’s Friends of The Coves Sub-Watershed was awarded a grant of $3452 for the Friends of the Coves Sub-Watershed Start-Up project. The predominant feature of the Coves Sub-Watershed is an abandoned oxbow of the Thames River, located in the core of London, Ontario. This project will provide basic office necessities for the group to communicate with the community and its members, in order to work toward its objectives of creating a conservation master plan for the Coves Sub-watershed, stewardship activities, rehabilitation activities, and ecosystem education. For more information contact:

Friends of the Coves Sub-Watershed (Applicant)
Allan Ralph
22-535 Topping Lane
London, Ontario, Canada N6J3M8

Michigan’s WILDHEARTS received a grant of $3500 for the Elk River Chain-of-Lakes Watershed Loon Protection Project. The Loon Protection Project consists of two phases of advocacy: habitat preservation and wildlife management. Habitat Preservation is the first initiative, and is covered in this grant. Local citizens will organize a grassroots campaign to protect the Grass Creek Watershed, which contains critical wetlands where loons nest and raise their young. For more information contact:

WILDHEARTS, Co-Chairman & Project Coordinator
Margaret Peterson Comfort,
Chairman (Applicant)
PO Box 317
Bellaire, MI 49615
(231) 533-8003
(231) 533-5067 Fax

The Sierra Club Eastern Canada Chapter received a grant award of $1700 for the Conference on Intensive Livestock Operations (ILOs)* and the Environment. The water quality problems associated with ILOs may impact upon large aquatic ecosystems in addition to local water supplies. ILOs located in the Great Lakes basin thus pose a direct threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem. This bi-national conference is aimed at finding solutions to the problems of ILOs, and will be held in London, Ontario in March of 2001.

*ILOs are usually referred to in the U.S. as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations or CAFOs.

For more information contact:
Sierra Club Eastern Canada Chapter (Applicant)
Don Mills
237-517 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M6G 4A2
(416) 960-9606
(519) 225-2163 Home
(416) 960-0020 Fax

The Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council was awarded a $2800 grant for the State of the Aquatic Habitat of the Mid-Michigan Region project. The project will strengthen Mid-MEAC and empower the community while protecting the aquatic habitat of the mid-Michigan region in the long run. The project will develop a handbook on the “State of the Aquatic Habitat of the Mid-Michigan Region.” Advocacy organizations, local government and citizens in the mid-Michigan region will benefit by having a single document highlighting important aspects of the natural environment where they work and live. For more information contact:

Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council
Jessica T. Kovan, Executive Director
416 S Cedar, Suite C
Lansing, MI 48912
(517) 485-9001
(517) 485-9181 Fax


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