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EPA pledges $20 million toward Clinton River clean-up, restoration


The US Environmental Protection Agency has pledged almost $20 million dollars to help clean up the Clinton River in southeast Michigan.

The river, which flows largely through Macomb County into Lake Saint Clair, has been designated a Great Lakes Area of Concern for many years.

EPA officials announced Monday that more federal money is coming through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

The money will fund nine projects. Most aim to protect and restore native habitat, and combat invasive species.

They include:

Partridge Creek Commons, McBride Drain and Clinton River Spillway Projects - Macomb County ($6,300,000) will restore more than 32,000 linear feet and almost 90 acres of in-stream, streamside and upland habitat. The projects will control invasive species, plant native vegetation, stabilize and naturalize the shoreline, increase habitat diversity through restoration of riffle and pool complexes, and improve habitat connectivity.

Clinton River Corridor Project - City of Sterling Heights ($4,500,000) will improve habitat diversity along a nine-mile section of the Clinton River by creating riffle-pools, managing woody debris, stabilizing stream banks, controlling invasive species and enhancing native vegetation.

·Harley Ensign/Clinton River Mouth Project - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Interagency Agreement ($2,694,201) will improve fish and wildlife habitat and restore former coastal wetland habitat where the Clinton River meets Lake St. Clair. This project will control invasive species, establish 14 acres of fish habitat and restore 4 acres of upland habitat as well as 6,000 feet of shoreline.

The Galloway Creek Fish Passage Project - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Interagency Agreement ($2,202,000) will restore approximately 3,000 linear feet of channel and 2 acres of riparian habitat in Galloway Creek, which will improve floodplain and in-stream connectivity, increase stream channel stability, provide in-channel aquatic habitat, increase habitat diversity and increase shade for riparian wetlands.

The grants were applauded by a bi-partisan group of federal and local officials.

"Our lakes and rivers are part of who we are and our way of life," said Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat who also co-chairs the Great Lakes Task Force. "Investing in the Clinton River watershed is critical to the health and conservation of our waterways and wildlife habitats.”

“I am excited to help celebrate these GLRI grants and believe they will go a long way to restore, preserve and protect these beautiful waterways,” said US Rep. Candice Miller (R-Macomb County).

Officials hope the grants will go a long way toward getting the Clinton River de-listed as an Area of Concern.

It’s one of 27 remaining Areas of Concern targeted by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which launched in 2010 as a way to support clean-up of those areas.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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