Grants: Water Resources

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Sanford Lake Livery

Jun 2018

Sponsored by the Midland County Parks and Recreation Commission, this effort seeks to establish a new canoe/kayak livery at Sanford Lake Park.  Canoe / kayaking / paddleboard is the largest growing segment of watersports and water-based recreation in the country.  This effort will allow for the purchase of kayaks and paddleboards for the facility, as well as lockable racks, lifejackets, and associated equipment that is required for safe and fun paddling adventures.  From WIN’s perspective, this effort will allow for additional use of our water resources and hopefully encourage people to support our waterways, and the protection/conservation of waterways at this site, and beyond Sanford Lake.

Village of Vernon Access Site

Jun 2018

Sponsored by the Village of Vernon, this effort proposes the development of an improved kayak launch in Vernon, along the Shiawassee River.  Identified as part of the proposed Shiawassee National Water Trail, this site is located north of the Shiatown launch (a site of a recent WIN-funded dam removal).  Partners include the Friends of the Shiawassee and the Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition.  In addition to the sweeping multi-site plan for the Shiawassee River, this was uniquely identified in the village’s recently completed Vernon Downtown Revitalization Strategy as a new opportunity for eco-tourism and downtown attraction.  This launch is the first step in a larger effort that also includes a non-motorized trail as well.  

Saginaw Bay Area Lake Sturgeon Restoration, Education and Outreach

Jun 2018

 Saginaw Bay WIN has made multiple investments over the years in habitat restoration projects across the Saginaw Bay Watershed.  Many of these have been designed to impact key fisheries species considered high value from a historical or recreational perspective, though all habitat work impacts all species positively.  In most cases, the target species have been the State threatened Lake Sturgeon and walleye.  Habitat and habitat-related projects have included nearly a dozen dam removals and fish passage projects, investments in fish monitoring at passage sites, sturgeon population research, reef habitat restoration, and more.  Because of this work and other projects, in 2017, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) began the process of reestablishing sturgeon in the Saginaw River system (which is listed as having an existing population below the Minimum Viable Population threshold) by planting 500+ young sturgeon in the Tittabwassee River.  The DNR expects to plant 1000 sturgeon yearly, for the next 20 years.  This proposal will begin the public education / appreciation effort for this new and unique program by partnering with MSU extension on the effort to create an Adopt-A-Sturgeon Pilot Program, Sturgeon in the Classroom, Educational Materials, Outreach Events, and a regional Lake Sturgeon Roundtable.  

Au Gres Stormwater Project: Phase I

Dec 2017

Under the direction of Huron Pines, and in cooperation with the City of Au Gres, this project is designed to create awareness and build local capacity for the long-term protection of water quality and the sustainability of the local community. To achieve this goal, Huron Pines will follow the same model that was successful in the nearby communities of West Branch and Rose City also funded with WIN support. That is to educate the local community about stormwater; document the extent of stormwater runoff issues; propose Best Management Practices to address the problems; generate cost estimates; prepare initial tasks; and assist with community efforts to seek financing for stormwater BMPs where appropriate. In addition to completing a stormwater report and presenting that to the City Council, this project will involve the local school and the business community in order to help raise awareness and create future buy in for taking action steps. Stormwater and associated sedimentation are considered to be the major source of pollution to Saginaw Bay, and engaging communities (especially small communities such as AuGres who do not fall under the same regulations as larger communities) is an important step in preserving and protecting water quality. Similar efforts in West Branch and Rose City have resulted in major projects and have leveraged hundreds of thousands of dollars through the process

Regional Promotion of Flint River Water Trail

Dec 2017

At 142 miles long and covering parts of Lapeer, Genesee, and Saginaw Counties, the Flint River has become an increasingly popular destination for paddlers. This effort, proposed by Genesee County Parks in cooperation with local partners, seeks to develop a logo and branding for the trail, develop a regional map for the trail, complete printed brochures, and implement a FRWT signage program. The project addresses three key needs of the Flint River and region. First the project builds off the "It's Not the River" campaign which was effective in educating residents and the public that the Flint River water crisis was not a Flint River issue. Second, the project seeks to promote the Flint River Restoration Project (of which WIN is an investor at the Hamilton Dam removal) and its significance in opening the river for paddling and recreational activities.

Saginaw Street Landing, South Branch Flint River

Dec 2017

Coordinated by the Six Rivers Land Conservancy, this projects seeks to transform an unimproved road shoulder access into a formal river access site for the purposes of public access and paddling opportunities along the Flint River Water Trail. At this site, people are currently able to park and launch kayaks/canoes, but it is an unsafe situation. This project plans create a driveway and parking area at this 5-acre site that will provide better access to the river, as well as serve as the prelude to the completion of an improved launch area. The parking area will also eliminate an erosion situation occurring at the shoulder, as well as allow broader access for schools who are currently using the site for education and water quality analysis purposes. The site will also serve as a key "upstream" launch site on the Flint River Water Trail. SRLC is leading the fundraising and coordinating efforts under agreement with Lapeer County Parks / Department of Public Works.

Regional Marketing of the Cass River Water Trail

Jun 2017

Proposed by Cass River Greenway (CRG), this project will not only increase the online presence of the Cass River Greenway, but also provide on-the-ground interpretive and mapping kiosks for the project. Since its inception in 2007, CRG has developed more that 10 access points linking communities, worked to improve water quality, increased and improved habitat, establish annual river cleanups, fostered recreational opportunities and recently led the effort to apply for National Water Trail designation. This project will support, in part, the development of an interactive website that will highlight the water trail and the Cass River, as well as provide for updated river kiosks that are placed at access sites along the water trail. The maps have a uniform look and feel that provides consistence regardless of the access site.

Cedar River Watershed Sediment Reduction

Jun 2017

A long-time focus of WIN and other partners, the Cedar River is a 120,000 acres watershed located in Gladwin and Clare Counties. It contains one of the only "blue-ribbon" trout stream reaches in the Saginaw Bay watershed. Past WI support has included public education (local government capacity building, signage) and on-the-ground restoration (dam removal and habitat restoration). Uses along the river include fishing, hiking, and canoeing among others. WIN funded a streambank erosion survey which has been supplemented by a road/stream crossing survey by Trout Unlimited. Both studies identified a number of sites where remediation and restoration activities are warranted to avoid continuing and additional erosion and water quality impacts. The work has been led by a broad coalition of partners including the Saginaw Bay RC&D, Huron Pines, the Fish and Wildlife Service, Little Forks Conservancy and others. This project, led by Saginaw Bay RC&D, seeks to mitigate erosion at one of the prime sites that is causing water quality impacts by permanently repairing the road/stream crossing site as well as installing 1,000 feet of riverbank protection. It is anticipated that this will reduce erosion by 275 tons.

Restoring Spawning Reef Habitat in inner Saginaw Bay

Dec 2016

This project requests WIN support for the construction of one reef restoration site in inner Saginaw Bay. Previously funded research has identified a lack of appropriate habitat for open water fish spawning for multiple species. Historically, Saginaw Bay contained an inner rock reef complex that provided critical spawning habitat for many native species including lake sturgeon and walleye. The goal is beyond creating additional habitat, but helps to facilitate a resilient and diverse native fish population. The WIN funds are dedicated specifically for construction and will serve as match against a larger federal grant that is being applied for.

Middle Branch Cedar River Dam Removal

Dec 2016

Proposed by Huron Pines, this project seeks to not only remove a dam along the Cedar River in Clare County, but also provide training and capacity building for local groups (conservation partners, local and state government agencies)about management options for conservation and in particular, road/stream crossing conservation and water quality options. At the dam site, removal of this dam will open more than 9 miles of main stream tributary on one of the Saginaw Bay Watershed's only "blue stream / pristine quality" trout streams. The current dam not only is a barrier to fish passage, but has also been identified as a source of excess sediment and thermal pollution. While the dam is located on private property, the landowner is contributing $10,000 in cash match, and remaining funds have been applied for through the Michigan Dam Management fund. Four community workshops will be held – two targeting the Cedar River Watershed, and two targeting the Northern Saginaw Bay Watershed and the region at large.

Bridgeport Cass River Access and Trailhead

Dec 2016

This proposed project will develop a river access point and trailhead near the recently restored State Street Historic Bridge in Bridgeport. The project is included the township recreation plan as an amenity and an addition to the Cass River Water Trail project, where WIN has made multiple investments along the Cass. This project joins a canoe/kayak launch at Davis Park located upriver, that was a past WIN investment and was completed in 2016. The trailhead also is part of the Iron Belle Trail network, which has also been a focus of WIN investment including the recently completed Bay-Zil Trail that traverses the Bay/Saginaw County line. A DNR Trust Fund grant has already been approved for this project, and the proposed WIN grant will be part of the local match component. The WIN funding for this project is specifically dedicated to the fishing / wildlife viewing platform.

Pointe Park Development, Renovation and Water Trail Project - Caseville

Jun 2016

This project, sponsored by the City of Caseville, includes new improvements at Caseville's Pointe Park on Saginaw Bay. This 5 acre park is envisioned to be completed with a new universal design canoe/kayak launch which will serve as a premier site along the Thumb Heritage Water Trail, increased fishing opportunities, educational kiosks and installation of energy efficient lighting. The construction will include "sustainable construction principles" including bio-swales, green infrastructure components, and recycled materials. The WIN funds are proposed to specifically fund in total or partially the canoe/kayak launch, lighting, signage and permeable pavers. It should be noted that this entire project will support a portion of the local match dollars for a larger Michigan Natural Resource Trust Fund grant of approximately $300,000