Grant will help reduce stormwater risks to Lake Superior

What's happening: A grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will help improve coastal habitats in Marquette, adding multiple types of green infrastructure to improve stormwater runoff sites along Lake Superior.

The $323,000 grant from the Sustain Our Great Lakes Program will add native plants, create migratory bird and pollinator habitats and improve both dry land and in the water at the selected sites. The City of Marquette Engineering Department, Great Lakes Climate Corps, Great Lakes Tribal Conservation Corps and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Natural Resources Department will assist the Superior Watershed Partnership (SWP), the group that was awarded the grant.

Monitoring new techniques in Marquette: Multiple groups have shown interest in how the green infrastructure improvements can impact the Great Lakes. Erosion, pollution and climate change have been identified as major concern for groups like the Great Lakes Compact, a formal agreement that helps states and Canadian provinces in the watershed establish best-operating procedures to sustain the Great Lakes, so identifying successful programs could later be used across the region. Wildlife officials also believe this could be a way to strengthen local wildlife habitats to help native species, opening up new funding and land use opportunities. 

What they're saying: “An increase in development and impervious pavement can often mean an increase in warmer, untreated stormwater entering Lake Superior. This Great Lakes funding allows the city and SWP to install a series of green infrastructure projects that help protect Lake Superior water quality and water temperature while improving coastal habitat conditions. Green infrastructure also provides beautiful landscaping; especially when the native wildflowers and shrubs are in bloom,” said Carl Lindquist, the organization's executive director. 

What's next: Restoration projects will begin this year and run through 2024. Members of the public will be able to help with various aspects of preparing the ground and planting throughout the project’s timeline.
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