We are excited to announce the projects most recently funded by the Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Network and Fund. Of 35 worthy applications received for the Spring 2007 grant cycle, 11 projects were funded, totalling $34,167.
In the Lake Erie Basin, EarthWatch Ohio will use its newspaper to promote awareness of and involvement in Great Lakes issues. Articles will highlight the work that Ohio-based environmental groups are doing to protect the Great Lakes and encourage readers to take an active role. The newspaper will be free at libraries, coffee shops, health food stores, retail shops, colleges & universities, medical & office buildings, etc.
The East Michigan Environmental Action Council will organize meetings with Detroit community social, environmental, and environmental justice organizations to discuss and promote how the community can be an advocate for urban water issues. Workshops will make clear the connections between the struggle for access to water, issues of privatization, and larger state and global water protection issues.
The Niagara River Area Property Owners Group is working to prevent development of a 230-acre significant wetland. The Town of Fort Erie voted to proceed with the development of a golf course on the site. This project provides support for the Group’s work to prepare for a final, critical Ontario Municipal Board hearing and judgment.
On Lake Huron, The Indian Mission Conservation Club is pursuing Natural Areas designation for two state parks on northeast Michigan’s Lake Huron shoreline, Negwegon and Thompson’s Harbor, both noted for their undeveloped shorelines and wide variety of significant and diverse natural communities. The shorelines of both parks are threatened. Natural Areas designations for the parks will help ensure protection of their natural features and prohibit intensive development.
On Lake Michigan, the Friends of Jean Klock Park in Benton Harbor, MI are defending the park against development of a private golf course. The Friends maintain that the City of Benton Harbor’s lease to the developer to build part of the golf course is illegal based on a 2004 Consent Judgment intended to preserve Jean Klock Park.
The Watershed Watchers are continuing their legal efforts and a media campaign to protect over 100 acres of wetlands from expansion of the West Bend,WI municipal airport. This project will watchdog the Environmental Impact Study proceedings and support a media campaign to highlight the inadequate need for expansion and lack of alternative sites’ research, and to remind decision-makers of the expectations for an open, fair, and thorough Environmental Impact Study.
In the Lake Ontario Basin, the Adirondack Communities Advisory League (the League) of Boonville, New York is continuing a Clean Water Act citizen’s suit against the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority (OHSWA) filed in June 2006. The suit aims to hold OHSWA accountable for allowing excessive sediment to enter Moose Creek during landfill construction, and to ensure that the stream will be protected now and in the future. This project will provide for continued legal services for the League during the discovery period of the lawsuit and help keep the public informed through the League’s publications.
Quinte Watershed Cleanup (Bay of Quinte, Belleville,Ontario) is conducting a campaign to influence property owners and educate the general public on the importance of naturalized shorelines and the use of native plants when replanting shorelines. The campaign will include advocacy to encourage local governments to initiate policy change, a small public contest to encourage planting and acknowledge the property owner that has made the greatest change in one season, and incentives for local nurseries to ensure native plant materials are available for customers.
On Lake Superior, the Anishinabek of the Gitchi Gami will engage Fort William First Nation citizens in developing a draft vision for the long-term health of the watershed. Located on the shore of Lake Superior adjacent to the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario, the community will create a vision for the protection of its aquatic communities and sustainable use of its water resources. Once finalized, the watershed vision will be used as a tool to foster ecosystem-based decision-making.
A quarry is proposed on the shore of Lake Superior at Michipicoten Bay. Citizens Concerned for Michipicoten Bay appealed the municipal re-zoning proposal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). To prepare for the OMB hearing, this project involves media coverage and advocacy for the issues, including technical expertise to assess environmental impacts and help with fundraising and media coverage.
Duluth Open Space and Urban Wilderness is working to counter a disturbing trend toward selling public lands. This project seeks to prevent the loss of public lands and the resulting degradation of waterways by designing and executing a bottom-up strategy for the protection of public lands and watercourses. The strategic plan will elevate public lands protection through economic, political, public and legal approaches. Duluth Open Space and Urban Wilderness will publicize and promote the final plan.
As always, we are encouraged and inspired by those who work so hard to make these and many more, similar projects flourish throughout the Great Lakes. We are honored to support your efforts!