The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced its new Aquatic Habitat Grant Program that is focused on funding projects that protect intact and rehabilitate degraded aquatic habitat.

This new $1 million grant program will emphasize protecting intact and rehabilitating degraded aquatic resources throughout the state; developing self-sustaining aquatic communities that provide for continuing recreational opportunities and natural resource-based economies; and developing strong relationships and partnerships along with new expertise with respect to aquatic habitat protection and recovery.

“This program will work to increase fish and aquatic wildlife populations statewide by ensuring our best waters remain so and improving aquatic habitat that is currently degraded,” said Gary Whelan, DNR Fisheries Division program manager. “It will also serve to increase direct public involvement in watershed issues and increase availability of high-quality, self-sustaining aquatic resources.”

Funding is available for eligible single- and multiple-year projects by local, state, federal and tribal governments, nonprofit groups and individuals through an open competitive process. Minimum grant amounts will be set at $25,000 with no maximum grant ceiling and projects can address issues on rivers, lakes or the Great Lakes. Smaller projects within the same watershed addressing similar issues and system processes can be bundled into a single grant proposal package in order to reach minimum grant amount requirements.

“This is a very exciting program that will continue to enhance Michigan’s world-class fisheries – which you can’t have without great aquatic habitat,” said DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter. “We look forward to seeing projects of various scope and size that will impact all types of aquatic habitat.”

The Aquatic Habitat Grant Program application period will begin on Feb. 1 and will end at the close of business on March 15. Successful grant applications will be announced by April 15. This new grant program will be funded by new revenues from the increased fishing and hunting license fees. The detailed program handbook and application are available at www.michigan.gov/fishing.

Logo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources

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