The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Habitat Grant program is offering an expected $1.85 million in funding for a variety of activities, including fish habitat conservation, dam removal and repair, resource assessment studies, and providing access to recreation.

Distributed through three themes – aquatic habitat conservation, dam management, and aquatic habitat and recreation in the Au Sable, Manistee and Muskegon river watersheds – funding is available through an open, competitive process to local, state, federal and tribal governments and nonprofit groups for single- and multiple-year projects.

“Protection and rehabilitation of fish and other aquatic animals’ habitats are common to all three Fisheries Habitat Grant themes, because habitat degradation threatens Michigan’s fish and aquatic resources,” said Joe Nohner, a resource analyst with the DNR Fisheries Division. “The DNR prioritizes habitat conservation that targets the causes of habitat decline, such as barriers to connectivity, altered water levels or flow, and degraded water quality and riparian land – those transitional areas between land and water, like riverbanks.”

Proposed projects addressing the causes of habitat decline might include efforts to:

Improve the management of riparian land.
Restore natural lake levels.
Improve or create passage for aquatic organisms by removing culverts, dams and other barriers.
Improve water quality.
Implement watershed-based approaches to improving both the quality and quantity of water.
Develop projects that demonstrate habitat conservation.
Restore stream function.
Add structural habitats, like woody habitat or aquatic vegetation.
Conduct assessments that will guide conservation projects.
Complete other projects that meet program goals.
Grant and application guidelines

Grant applicants may apply for and receive funding from all three themes with one application, if eligible for each. Funding is derived from:

An expected $1,250,000 from the Game and Fish Protection Fund, supporting the aquatic habitat conservation theme.
An expected $350,000 from the state’s General Fund, supporting

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