Great Lakes Region

Lake Erie Bluffs, Perry Township, Ohio. Credit: L. Mountz

Although the Great Lakes face many challenges, the region is fortunate to have thousands of acres of coastal and wetland habitat that possess exceptional ecological, historical, and recreational value.  Several of these land areas have been protected for decades—among them Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore, Porcupine Mountains State Park, Superior National Forest, and many others.  With GLRI funds, NOAA is continuing to preserve and protect important habitat in the Great Lakes.

Competitive awards will be made to state & local governments through the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) and the Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC) Land Acquisition Program to purchase significant coastal and estuarine lands, or conservation easements on such lands, from willing sellers. Land or conservation easements acquired through these programs are protected in perpetuity so that they may be enjoyed by future generations.

 

Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP)

NOAA’s Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) seeks to preserve extraordinary habitat that faces development, contamination, or other threats.  CELCP is a competitive grants process that provides state and local governments with matching funds to purchase significant coastal and estuarine lands, or conservation easements on such lands, from willing sellers.  Lands or conservation easements acquired through CELCP are protected in perpetuity so that they may be enjoyed by future generations.  The impact has been great: since 2002, over 75,000 acres of coastal habitat across the United States has been conserved, including more than 7,500 acres of Great Lakes coastal habitat.

Below are the CELCP funding amounts received through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).  Project descriptions for all CELCP fiscal years are available on NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management website.  Projects for FY17 have not yet been awarded.

Houghton Falls, Wisconsin. Credit: T. Olson

In FY 2016, the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation program was awarded $1,509,920 through the GLRI.

In FY 2015, CELCP and the AOC Land Acquisition programs were awarded a combined $1,672,988.

In FY 2014, CELCP was awarded $1,330,316.

In FY 2013, CELCP funding of $801,800 supported the acquisition of the Old Chicago Road tract by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

In FY 2012, CELCP funding of $2,019,107 supported Phase III of the Lake Erie Bluff Preservation in Ohio.

In FY 2011, CELCP was awarded $949,244.

In FY 2010, CELCP was awarded $4,500,000.

 

Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC) Land Acquisition Program

Muskegon AOC coastal acquisition project. Project partners are working towards restoring high quality wetlands on this site.

NOAA’s Office for Coastal Manage­ment (OCM) is using GRLI funds to support competitively-selected land acquisition projects that are “ready and eligible” for funding in Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs).  This competition will provide for the permanent protection  of wetlands and other important coastal habitat.  An AOC-focused land acquisition competition provides the first step of establishing a pipeline of restoration projects for GLRI funding. EPA and NOAA’s other AOC-focused solicitations would provide both restoration planning, design and implementation funds to complete the pipeline of restoration projects contributing toward delisting habitat related beneficial use impairments.

 

In FY 2015, the Coastal Land Conservation in the Great Lakes template was awarded $1,672,988 in GLRI funding. With this funding NOAA expects to protect between 100-200 acres of coastal wetlands and between 40-100 acres of other habitats in the Great Lakes basin. Awards will be made later this Fiscal Year.

FY 2014 GLRI funds will provide for the permanent conservation of nearly 24 acres of Great Lakes Coastal habitat:

  • Maumee Oak Openings Habitat Corridor Project ($174,385) — This project was funded through a combination of FY13 and FY 14 funds and will protect ~24 acres of Oak Openings habitat in the Maumee AOC.
  • Balsam Creek Conservancy Project ($236,713)

FY 2013 GLRI funds will provide for the permanent conservation of nearly 39 acres of Great Lakes Coastal habitat:

  • Cuyahoga AOC- Mill Creek Wetlands Protection Project ($411,435) – Project Complete: The Village of Highland Hills acquired a 9.8 acre parcel to preserve wetland habitat and upland forest buffer in the Mill Creek subwatershed of the Cuyahoga River.
  • Maumee AOC- Tenmile Creek Floodplain Restoration: Lloyd Homestead ($149,465) – Project Cancelled per request of recipient; funds will be reprogrammed to support another competitively selected project.
  • Muskegon Lake AOC Land Acquisition – Willbradt property, west side ($196,100) – Project Ongoing: County of Muskegon will acquire a 29 acre property within the Muskegon Lake Area of Concern.  Protection of this property is the first step towards later coastal habitat restoration.

FY 2012 GLRI funds will provide for the permanent conservation of over 227 acres of Great Lakes Coastal habitat:

  • Maumee AOC-Oak Openings Habitat Corridor ($212,000) – Project Complete: Metroparks of the Toledo Area protected 4 separate tracts of land totaling 56.57 acres along tributaries within the Swan Creek Watershed.  This project supported regional priorities towards developing and restorating a large-scale habitat corridor within the Oak Openings region, considered to be the Maumee AOC’s single most important natural habitat area.
  • Black Creek Marsh ($221,000) – Project on-going: The Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority will conserve approximately 105 acres of predominantly Palustrine-Emergent wetland adjacent to Lake St. Clair Metropark Black Creek marsh. The project will increase the wetland acreage available for existing restoration efforts.
  • Muskegon Lake AOC ($200,000) – Project Ongoing: Muskegon County will acquire a 66 acre parcel directly adjacent to the Muskegon River. This property is a former celery farm and restoration of the project site is specifically listed as a priority in the Muskegon Lake AOC Stage II Remedial Action Plan as well as other AOC planning documents.
  • Rochester Embayment ($196,100) – Project cancelled per request of recipient; funds will be reprogrammed to support another competitively selected project.

FY 2011 GLRI funds will provide for the permanent conservation of over 50 acres of Great Lakes Coastal habitat:

  • Acquisition with the Saginaw Bay AOC ($463,500) – Project Complete:  Bay County protected 25.3 acres of Saginaw Bay coastal habitat through the acquisition of two parcels.  The wetlands conserved through these acquisitions directly contributed towards meeting the delisting criteria for the Saginaw Bay AOC Beneficial Use Impairment for Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat.
  • Shoreline Habitat Land Acquisition for Delisting Fish and Wildlife Related Beneficial Use Impairments and the White Lake AOC ($343,800) – Project Complete: Muskegon County Soil Conservation District conserved 7.11 acres of priority habitat sites along White Lake.  These conservation acquisitions supported the delisting of two habitat related beneficial use impairments in the White Lakes Area of Concern, in addition to increasing public access to recreational areas and supporting water quality improvements.
  • Muskegon Lake AOC Land Acquisition for Habitat Restoration ($106,600) – Project Complete:  The City of North Muskegon and the County of Muskegon partnered to conserve 17 acres  adjacent to Bear Creek, near Bear Lake within the Muskegon Lake Area of Concern.  Local partners have begun work on the design and engineering for wetland restoration on the project site.

For more information on NOAA’s Great Lakes Coastal Land Conservation projects, contact:

Elizabeth Mountz, Coastal Management Specialist
NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management
E-mail:  Elizabeth.Mountz@noaa.gov
Phone:  (301) 563-1148

 

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