2005 Spring Project Grants

2005 Spring Project Grants

Antrim County United Through Ecology (ACUTE)

Amount: $3000

Project Title: Antrim Citizen Coalition Seeking Solutions to a Trillions Gallons of Groundwater Contamination by TCE

Project Description: This project will work to develop a safe and cost effective solution to the Trichloroethylene (TCE) Plume in AntrimCounty.  The TCE Plume originating in Mancelona now is more than six miles long and one mile wide at its leading edge, the largest TCE Plume in the State of Michigan.  The MDEQ estimates that the Plume has contaminated ten to twenty trillion gallons of groundwater, reaching northwest (from Mancelona) to SchussMountain and a 1.5 mile wide stretch of the Cedar River.  As this groundwater contamination plume continues to spread into the Cedar River, it threatens to impact the Lower Chain of Lakes and the municipal water well field at Cedar River that supplies drinking water to an entire region of people whose wells have already been impacted by the TCE Plume and the original plume at Tar Lake (a Superfund site in Mancelona.)  The purpose of this project is to collect and disseminate information to help citizens protect aquatic habitats.  This project will increase advocacy during the term of this grant by continuing to build the capacity of ACUTE to effectively advocate for solutions to the TCE plume and its effect on public health, the environment and the local economy.

 

 

Kalamazoo River Protection Association

Amount: $5000

Project Title: Informing stakeholders along the Kalamazoo River of failures to remove 6 million cubic yards of contamination

Project Description: The project will inform concerned citizens, property owners, local community groups, local and state elected officials and administrators about the failed cleanup efforts on an 80 mile stretch of the Kalamazoo river which is contaminated with over 6 million cubic yards of river sediments containing PCBs, a persistent toxic chemical. We will hold many public meetings using as educational and motivational tools, a 20-minute film, PCB fact sheets and legal specialists.  We plan on educating and creating advocacy opportunities for various stakeholders regarding their legal rights as riparian property owners and to community groups and citizens to take actions and hold the polluters accountable for damages to their property.

 

 

Friends of the Boyne River

Amount: $2800

Project Title: Save the Boyne River

Project Description: The Friends of the BoyneRiver want to prevent sewage effluent from being discharged into the BoyneRiver.  The group has filed appeals in this issue and this grant will pay for these attorney fees.  We want the sewage effluent discharge to remain in Lake Charlevoix until a land or adequate wetland discharge can be designed and implemented.

 

Friends of the Detroit River

Amount: $3000

Project Title: Disseminating public information about the environmental problems along the Detroit River

Project Description: This project is designed to support one of the Riverkeeper projects – River Watch – through an active media campaign.  The River Watch Project will be educating volunteer boaters to watch for pollution events.  This project will entail developing a media campaign that would present the activities of the River Watch Project to local media; to local schools; and to the general public via the Friends of the DetroitRiver website.  The campaign will develop articles, maps, conduct mailings and submit press releases describing the volunteers activities in the River Watch Project.

 

 

Gaia Defense League

Amount: $3500

Project Title: The Gaia Defense League On and In the Streams

Project Description: The Gaia Defense League was formed in the fall of 2004 to address a specific organizational need in northwestern Pennsylvania – that of committed watchdog and enforcer.  The founding members held a strong belief that, although established groups in the region fulfilled some of this mission, a greater focus was needed to ensure that regulations and laws and the government agencies tasked to enforce these were doing their job.  Our mission in brief, is ‘to hold their feet to the fire’ by whatever means legally available to citizen activists and to educate the general public in the protection of our natural resources.  The group will build a committed membership base, cooperate with and educate local government officials about the benefits of sustainable communities and their beneficial relationship to the watershed and local economy.

 

 

Bad River Watershed Association

Amount: $5000

Project Title: Citizen advocacy to improve town road work in streams

Project Description: Teams of citizens are trained to advocate for watershed health at the town level.  They inform town officials of new DNR rules governing road work in wetlands and streams and of culvert training sessions.  Meanwhile, other volunteers gather data about the condition of culverts in the watershed.  Working with USFWS, WDNR, and town officials, Bad River Watershed Association develops a needs assessment for culvert remediation.  At a basin-wide meeting of town officials, volunteers, and agency personnel, opportunities to restore fish passage and improve water quality are discussed and a mutually workable plan is developed.  This project will entail coalition building between Bad River Watershed Association, town boards, town road crews and resource management agencies.

 

 

Residents for Responsible Government

Amount: $2800

Project Title: Lake Ontario watershed sampling and educational program

Project Description: Chemical Waste Management has violated standards for the discharge of PCBs into LakeOntario in 2001, 2003 and 2004.  Plutonium has also been discovered on the site.  The New York State Department of Public Heath is recommending extensive testing of water samples.  We need to raise funds and recruit volunteers for well testing and boring for ground water samples, as well as monitoring the flow of water in the creeks that go through Chemical Waste Management’s property and enter LakeOntario.  The objective of this project is to collect samples and inform the public of the danger of PCB’s, as well as the need to protect LakeOntario and its habitat.  This project will work to prevent the expansion of a hazardous waste site on the shore of LakeOntario.  Volunteers will assist with well testing, obtaining ground water, sample data and monitoring water flow in creeks.

 

 

Taxpayers Against Airport Growth-Watershed Watchers

Amount: $5000

Project Title: Grassroots Citizen Opposition to the City of West Bend Airport Expansion

Project Description: The Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the City of West Bend intend to expand the municipal airport into a jetport.  The preliminary environmental assessment indicates that the project directly or indirectly impacts 106 acres of biotic communities, 54 acres of wetlands, 69 acres of floodplain fringe and 297 acres of cropland and woodland.  The airport is in a floodplain wetland between Highway 33 and the MilwaukeeRiver, and the expansion represents the largest single-site wetland fill in Wisconsin since 1991.  An active group of area citizens is gathering information and support to stop this expensive and unjustifiable project.  Specific tasks include a hydrology survey as well as the creation of a brochure and a newsletter.

 

 

Tinkers Creek Land Conservancy

Amount: $3200

Project Title: A grassroots initiative to encourage and facilitate land conservation priorities in the watershed

Project Description: TinkersCreekLand Conservancy (TCLC), a volunteer advocacy environmental land conservation group, seeks to initiate a comprehensive watershed Conservation Priority Plan for the Tinkers Creek watershed that will create a long-term conservation action plan to protect critical aquatic and terrestrial habitat.  The project will increase advocacy by educating local municipalities with technical support, grassroots advocacy, maintaining a GIS Database, presentations to stakeholder groups and traveling displays.

 

Niagara River Area Property Owners

Amount: $5500

Project Title: Protect Our Wetlands (Niagara River/Fort Erie)

Project Description: The wetland we are trying to protect is designated as a Provincially Significant Wetland.  In 2004, the Ministry of Natural Resources published a list of 17 significant wetlands in our area of the HaldimandClayPlain.  Neither the Town of Fort Erie nor the Region of Niagara have policies to protect these from incompatible development.  The objective of the project is to prevent the proposed Niagara River Golf Course from building on Provincially Significant Wetland resulting in loss of wetland habitat, loss of habitat of two provincially rare plant species, disruption of the habitat of the globally rare Pin Oak swamp community, threat to source water protection, and negative impact on aquatic habitat around Baker’s Creek and the Dr. Cobb drain.  This project would allow evaluation of the property in order to protect fish and wildlife habitat that prosper in this wetland.

 

Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition

Amount: $2500

Project Title: The Wave: Healthy Yards – Healthy Waters program to reduce phosphorus in runoff

Project Description: THE WAVE – Healthy Yards/Healthy Waters, is a community-based educational and social marketing program to assist residents to embrace responsible lawn and garden care practices by reducing their usage of phosphorus, thereby helping reduce phosphorus run-off into Lake Simcoe.  Through community-by-community, home-to-home awareness and education given by THE WAVE PATROL, WAVE Community Committees and media activities, residents on the Lake Simcoe watershed will start taking collective action to restore the health of Lake Simcoe and it’s tributaries to a more natural state.

 

 

Wolfe Island Wildlife Association

Amount: $2300

Project Title: The Wolfe Island Wetland Corridor, Phase II – Mobilizing Community for Aquatic Habitat Protection

Project Description: WolfeIsland is the easternmost island on LakeOntario.  It sits at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River.  To the north, the island faces Kingston, Ontario.  To the south, the island faces Cape Vincent, New York.  In the 1800s a 2-kilometre long canal was constructed, bisecting the island and linking Canada and the United States.  The canal fell to disuse and for one hundred years provided important fish and wildlife habitat.  In the 1930s, a causeway was constructed that choked off the canal from LakeOntario, effectively eliminating the flow of water in the canal and reducing biodiversity.  The region is an important spawning area for fish and staging area for birds.  This project will ensure financial, regulatory and community support for the restoration and enhancement of one of eastern LakeOntario’s largest wetland corridors.

 

 

Bob Cragin

Amount: $3000

Project Title: Protect the Viability of the Clough Island Complex

Project Description: CloughIsland is the largest of the ecologically significant islands within the largest estuary of the largest GreatLake.  CloughIsland is in imminent danger of being impacted by a high-density land conversion.  The goal of this project is to develop a public relations strategy that will facilitate a community information forum resulting in an increased public awareness of the threats to the natural resources of the estuary posed by the land conversion.  We plan to hire a firm with communications and media relations expertise to assist in developing objectives to meet the stated goals.

 

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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.