$7.48 Million in Grants for Great Lakes Restoration Announced by Sustain Our Great Lakes Partnership

Funding supports 23 conservation projects in the United States and Canada

WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 11, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sustain Our Great Lakes partners this week announced $7.48 million in grant funding for 23 ecological restoration projects in the Great Lakes basin. Approximately $12.06 million in additional project support will be leveraged by grantees, for a total on-the-ground conservation impact of $19.54 million.

The grants will support projects that sustain, restore and protect fish, wildlife and habitats in the Great Lakes basin through a focus on restoring coastal wetland habitat, improving the quality and connectivity of streams and riparian habitat, and improving water quality through green stormwater infrastructure.

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 and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), a federal program designed to protect, restore and enhance the Great Lakes ecosystem. The GLRI includes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Since 2006, Sustain Our Great Lakes has awarded 287 grants worth more than $67 million and leveraged an additional $77 million in matching contributions, for a total conservation investment of over $144 million.

 “This is great news for fish and wildlife and the people of the Great Lakes Basin,” said Charles Wooley, deputy Midwest regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “From coastal wetland restoration at Ohio’s Toussaint State Wildlife Area, to fish passage restoration in Breakneck Creek in New York and rare dune protection at Flower Creek Dunes Nature Preserve in Michigan, this program brings together partners from across the basin who are truly moving the conservation needle.”

“Water is a critical natural resource, and at ArcelorMittal, water plays an integral role in our steel production processes and the transportation of our materials,” said Bill Steers, general manager of communications and corporate responsibility for ArcelorMittal’s Americas region. “With four of our integrated steel mills located along the Great Lakes in the U.S. and Canada, we recognize the importance of managing and minimizing our company’s environmental impact through innovating new solutions, as well as forging public-private partnerships that can leverage resources and expertise. Our partnership with Sustain Our Great Lakes demonstrates our commitment to this philosophy, and we are proud to continue this collaborative effort to conserve our environment and protect vital natural resources.”

The work funded in 2017 will improve passage and habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms, control invasive species, restore wetland hydrology and improve green stormwater infrastructure. Collectively, the funded projects will:

  • Reopen 162 miles of river for fish passage
  • Restore three miles of stream and riparian habitat
  • Remove or bypass 29 barriers to aquatic organism passage
  • Control invasive species on more than 1,422 acres
  • Add more than 46.4 million gallons of stormwater storage

“The Sustain Our Great Lakes partnership shows that we are stronger and more impactful when the public and private sectors work together to meet conservation challenges,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “Through the awards announced today, Sustain Our Great Lakes will continue to invest in critical restoration activities throughout the basin to protect and preserve this resource for both wildlife and people.”

For a complete list of the grants announced today, and to learn more about the Sustain Our Great Lakes partnership, including applicant eligibility, funding priorities and submission requirements, visit www.sustainourgreatlakes.org. Follow the program on Twitter (@SOGL) to keep up with the latest Great Lakes news and program announcements.

About the 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 $3.8 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.

About ArcelorMittal
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: corporate.arcelormittal.com or www.usa.arcelormittal.com.

About the 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. 

About the 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. 

About the 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. 

About the 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.

About the Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that provides one-on-one, personalized advice on the best solutions to meet the unique conservation and business goals of those who grow our nation’s food and fiber.  NRCS helps landowners make investments in their operations and local communities to keep working lands working, boost rural economies, increase the competitiveness of American agriculture, and improve the health of our air, water, and soil. NRCS also generates, manages, and shares the data, research and standards that enable partners and policymakers to make decisions informed by objective, reliable science. In simpler terms, NRCS’s focus is “Helping People Help the Land.” For more information, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov.



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A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/b3ee2117-ea80-4d42-8cfa-cd6114185fa0

Sustain Our Great Lakes Partners


02-Sustain Our Great Lakes Press Release 2017.pdf

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