Michigan Awards $3.5M in Water Grants

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality said 14 grants totaling $3.5 million were granted to support projects addressing water quality concerns at Traverse City area beaches, implementing agricultural water quality practices in the Saginaw Bay and Lake Macatawa watersheds, establishing a forestry demonstration area at the Michigan Technological University, and implementing a basin to control stormwater in the St. Joseph River watershed.

"These projects show our commitment to partnering with organizations across Michigan to protect and restore our waters," said Steven E. Chester, agency director. "I'm particularly excited to support the Pinnebog River and Pigeon River Projects, which will advance the priorities of the Saginaw Bay Coastal Initiative."

The Pinnebog River Watershed Implementation Project will restore wetlands to improve habitat and hydrology, reduce cropland erosion to decrease sediment and nutrient loading, and address failing septic systems to reduce pathogens. Funding for this project will be coordinated with federal partners and incentive programs to improve education and increase the number of water quality practices implemented. The Pigeon River Watershed Planning project will provide funds to develop a watershed plan for the Pigeon River, which empties directly into Saginaw Bay.

These grants are funded with federal Clean Water Act and state Clean Michigan Initiative funds. For a complete list of projects, see www.michigan.gov/deqnps.

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