Water authority earns $276K in grants for projects

Will benefit Michigan's lakes, streams

OSCEOLA COUNTY -- The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy recently announced the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly is one of three recipients of grants totaling $276,000 for projects.

The projects will benefit Michigan's lakes and streams by developing new or updating existing watershed management plans.

An approved watershed management plan is required to apply for implementation funds offered annually by the Nonpoint Source Program.

Therefore, the ultimate goal of these grants is to restore impaired waters and protect high quality waters by reducing nonpoint sources of sediment, nutrients and other contaminants.

In addition to the MRWA, the Allegan Conservation District and the Huron River Watershed Council received grants to update management plans in their geographic areas of focus.

The MRWA received the largest of the grants valued at $108,217 to update the Muskegon River Watershed Management Plan.

Specific objectives include:

• New stream monitoring data.

• An agricultural inventory.

• Wetland functional assessments.

• An updated dam inventory.

The new information will provide specified recommendations for restoration and protection plans in four sub-watersheds in the lower Muskegon River watershed: Bigelow Creek, Hess Lake, Brooks Creek and Mosquito Creek

"In response to our request for proposals we received 15 applications requesting about $1.6 million," Robert Sweet, EGLE Grants Specialist, said.

"We are honored to be selected by EGLE to carry out this critically important work. We fully intend to develop a comprehensive, science-based management plan that will serve as the foundation for future efforts to restore and protect the Muskegon River Watershed," added MRWA executive director Marty Holtgren.