Explore Black River Habiat Paddle Tour
October 22, 2011, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Inventory and Research
News and Announcements
New Nature Preserve Will Protect Water Quality and Wildlife Habitat
Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (SWMLC) has been awarded a $250,000 matching grant to purchase and restore 120 acres of forest and wetland along the banks of the Black River, 3.5 miles east of South Haven. The project, funded by a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Joint Venture grant, will become an SWMLC nature preserve dedicated to the projection of water quality and wildlife habitat.
The GLRI is a task force of 11 federal agencies and was developed to coordinate funding in the Great Lakes Basin to clean up toxins, combat invasive species, improve water quality, and restore wildlife habitat. This year, $930,000 has been dedicated for the Joint Venture grant program of which six projects in four states were awarded funding.
"SWMLC's project received the highest overall ranking of all GLRI Joint Venture proposals," said Barbara Pardo, chief of the Division of Bird Habitat Conservation for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. "Reviewers especially noted the high diversity of flora and fauna that would benefit from the project as well as the strength of the local partnership. The Joint Venture is proud to support this project for the contributions it will make to our bird conservation objectives."
The 120-acre property is located along the west side of the South Branch of the Black River in Geneva Township and includes over one mile of winding riverbanks as well as small streams meandering through deep tributary ravines. Restoration efforts will focus on improving forest health through such methods as invasive species removal and reintroducing prescribed fire to encourage native plants.
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