# Project Organization Contact Status Amount
1581 Groundswell Continuation 3

Board Decision Year: 2015
Grand Valley State University - Center For Educational Partnerships (Grand Rapids) Pelon, Clayton (pelonc@gvsu.edu) Completed $144,079.04
1580 Upper Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative

Board Decision Year: 2015
Superior Watershed Partnership (Marquette) Debiak, Abbie (abbie@superiorwatersheds.org) Completed $126,098.70
1578 The Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition, GLFT Continuation 4, SEMIS 2015-2017

Board Decision Year: 2015
Eastern Michigan University - Office of Research Development (Ypsilanti) Lowenstein, Ethan (ethan.lowenstein@emich.edu) Completed $152,560.00
1577 Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (2015-17 Continuation)

Board Decision Year: 2015
Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan - Northeast Michigan (Alpena) Heraghty, Patrick (pheraghty@cfnem.org) Completed $155,968.00
1576 GRAND Learning Network Phase V Continuation

Board Decision Year: 2015
Shari L. Dann - Department of Community Sustainability (E Lansing) Dann, Shari (sldann@msu.edu) Completed $154,519.11
1574 Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative

Board Decision Year: 2015
The Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education - Copper Country Intermediate School District (Hancock) Oppliger, Shawn (shawn@copperisd.org) Completed $155,871.00
1573 Informing Great Lakes connectivity decisions: An enhanced online portal for high-resolution barrier data and species-specific benefit analyses

This project will expand our existing online decision-support tool to enable managers and agencies to assess trade-offs of barrier removals throughout the Great Lakes basin. We will inventory road crossings in the Paint River watershed, and create an index of habitat quality for priority fish species. Our website will enable integration of new barrier data, flexible visualization of species-specific habitat loss due to barriers, and customized analysis of optimal barrier removals for a given budget.

Board Decision Year: 2015
University of Wisconson - Center for Limnology (Madison) McIntyre, Peter (pmcintyre@wisc.edu) Active $359,506.44
1570 Song of the Morning Dam Removal-Pigeon River

Great Lakes Fishery Trust provided funding for on-the-ground/ in-the-water costs related to the removal of the Song of the Morning Dam. This project restored natural river processes including hydrology, geomorphology and flow of sediment and woody debris through the system for the first time in over 100 years. Trout and other aquatic organisms gained access to 15 miles of critical spawning and refuge habitat in the upper Pigeon River and its tributaries. 

Board Decision Year: 2015
Huron Pines (Grayling) Ramsdell, Lisha (lisha@huronpines.org) Completed $45,750.00
1565 Coastal Lake Huron Watersheds Road/Stream Crossing Inventory

Huron Pines completed a comprehensive inventory of all road/stream crossings in fourteen small coastal watersheds draining to Lake Huron. A total of 253 sites were inventoried using the Great Lakes Road/Stream Crossing Inventory Protocol and added to the northernmichiganstreams.org website to enable conservation partners to more efficiently evaluate priority restoration sites.

Board Decision Year: 2015
Huron Pines (Grayling) Leisen, Josh (josh@huronpines.org) Completed $16,000.00
1564 Spanning the Jordan River - Chestonia Bridge Project

The Chestonia Bridge state access site on the Jordan River is actually comprised of twin 14 foot wide culverts that cause stream velocities to increase five-fold, and contribute to pool formation, streambank erosion, sediment accumulation, and over widening of the river. Jordan River partners have completed design, and are going to build a 90 foot long single span bridge that will accomodate natural channel conditinos, and provide passage for all aquatic species at all life stages.

Board Decision Year: 2015
Conservation Resource Alliance - Grandview Plaza Building (Traverse City) Balke, Kimberly (kim@rivercare.org) Completed $100,000.00
1563 Belle Isle Access to Fishing – Boat Club Pier

The purpose of this project was to develop engineering plans and a cost estimate for the renovation/rehabilitation of the Boat Club Pier to improve fishing access at Belle Isle Park in Detroit, Michigan.  The scope for design of the project also included parking lot improvements, bridge replacement, lighting, walkway construction and the filling of dilapidated swimming pools to ensure safe access to the pier.  The project officially kicked off in 2015.  The final engineering documents for the pier were developed and delivered to the DNR in December, 2016.  A final cost estimate was also developed to guide future fundraising efforts for implementation of the construction phase of the project.

Board Decision Year: 2012
Michigan Department of Natural Resources - Parks and Recreation Division (Lansing) Lincoln, Matt (lincolnm@michigan.gov) Completed $73,160.61
1562 North Branch White River Culvert Removal

The project removed the final (culvert) barrier in the North Branch of the White River. Fifteen river miles were opened, making the North Branch navigable for the first time since the logging era. A timber bridge spanning the bankfull width was installed and the river has returned to its natural channel.

Board Decision Year: 2015
Oceana County Road Commission (Hart) Dutcher, Lisa (lisa_dutcher@hotmail.com) Completed $80,000.00
1561 Barrier Removal Decision Support – A User-Driven Collaborative Modeling Suite

Funded in part by the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, the Barrier Removal Collaborative Suite (BRCS) is a collaborative web platform that contains interactive mapping; standardized and current water, barrier, and invasive species data sets; and mechanisms for users to post comments, preferences, priorities, data, and plans. The platform allows users to share their views on water barriers and tributaries, comment on individual posts, create topics to discuss, and form shared interest groups to collaborate on barriers. The BRCS can also serve as a decision support tool that allows users to draw on the tool’s maps, save their individual project plans, as well as import plans created by other users in the BRCS. The main goal of the tool is to allow stakeholders to work in a cooperative online environment and provide a decision support tool based on the best available data. The project team integrated a survey mechanism into the BRCS that allows users to rank important areas and reach a consensus around those areas. Using data from the survey mechanism, the BRCS creates a grid heat map that shows the amount of agreement or disagreement around a particular area. These areas are designated as “Consensus Levels”. The tool is available for use here: http://brcs.seasketch.org/

Board Decision Year: 2015
Great Lakes Fishery Commission (Ann Arbor) Hrodey, Peter (phrodey@glfc.org) Completed $150,000.00
1552 Comparison of otolith microchemistry between juvenile steelhead cohabitant resident fish species

Natural reproduction of salmonids in Lake Michigan tributaries is substantial and otolith microchemistry is likely to allow for the identification of their natal origin. Interannual variation necessitates yearly derivation of tributary-specific chemical signatures in order to reliably assign origin. This study tested the hypothesis that otolith trace elemental signatures of mottled sculpin, slimy sculpin, and juvenile coho salmon were predictive of those juvenile steelhead across many streams within the Lake Michigan basin. For each species pair, statistical correlations of mean otolith concentrations of Mg, Mn, Cu, Zn, Sr, Ba, and Pb for each site were estimated. Linear equations describing these relationships were used to transform juvenile steelhead otolith chemistry data to those of each of the other species. The study’s findings suggest that applications of otolith chemistry data may extend beyond the species from which it is collected.

Board Decision Year: 2015
Central Michigan University - Department of Biology and Institute for Great Lakes Research (Mount Pleasant) Pangle, Kevin (pangl1k@cmich.edu) Completed $119,268.13
1550 The New Lake Michigan Food Web: Establishing links between nearshore food sources and pelagic piscivores.

With funding from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Great Lakes WATER Institute attempted to better characterize the diets of large-bodied piscivores in Lake Michigan following major ecosystem changes in the past 10-15 years. The project aimed to address the following questions:


  1. Does the ability to utilize nearshore energy sources vary among species?

  2. Within a given species, does the dependence on nearshore energy sources vary with location?

  3. Do spatial and temporal differences in dependence on nearshore energy lead to differences in fish condition?

The project offers important insights into upper food web structure and energy flow of Lake Michigan salmonines diets. The study fills previous knowledge gaps surrounding the diets of brown trout, Coho salmon, and steelhead and provides evidence of how the salmonines have adjusted their diet after ecosystem changes such as the establishment of the dreissenid mussels and the round goby in the Lake Michigan food web. In addition to providing dietary data for certain species, the project also generated the first estimates of niche overlap and diet proportion data for the Lake Michigan piscivore community. The data provide important insight into the upper food web structure and potential interaction among species. The project represents one of the larger databases of fatty acid profiles at the top of a freshwater food web.  

Board Decision Year: 2015
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee - Great Lakes WATER Institute (Milwaukee) Bootsma, Harvey (hbootsma@uwm.edu) Completed $264,772.30
1546 Forecasting biological and economic impacts of aquatic invasive species in Lake Michigan

University of Wyoming - Economics and Finance will use dynamically linked ecosystem and economic models to forecast both the bioeconomic impacts of future invasive species on Lake Michigan’s food web and fisheries, and the impacts of potential invasive species management strategies. They will predict changes in fishery effort, harvests and regional economic well-being resulting from changes in fish biomass caused by invasive species and management strategies.

Board Decision Year: 2015
University of Wyoming - Economics and Finance (Laramie) Finnoff, David (finnoff@uwyo.edu) Active $246,819.16
1539 Management unit delineation of lake sturgeon populations based on adaptive genetic diversity

Lake sturgeon management units have been delineated based on neutral genetic markers; however, these markers may not represent adaptive differences that may indicate different evolutionary pathways for these populations. In this project, lake sturgeon populations throughout the Great Lakes will be analyzed at genes that are under natural selection. Populations will then be grouped based on adaptive similarity, resulting in management units that will help conserve the adaptive potential of our remaining lake sturgeon populations.

Board Decision Year: 2015
West Virginia University Research Corporation (Morgantown) Welsh, Amy (amy.welsh@mail.wvu.edu) Active $193,942.00
1531 Making fish and habitat survey data publicly available to facilitate collaborative management of Great Lakes tributaries

In 2002, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) Fisheries Division initiated a statewide Status and Trends Program (STP) to assess fish populations and aquatic habitat in Michigan rivers. A key component of the STP was an inventory of streams throughout Michigan using a stratified-random sampling design and standardized survey methods. Data from these surveys and other surveys done using the STP Random Site protocols can be used to characterize various types of streams and stream habitats throughout Michigan. The information needed for characterization benchmarks existed in MDNR databases for the entire state of Michigan; however, the data was not readily available to citizens and fishery managers in a user-friendly manager. With support from the GLFT, the MDNR Fisheries Division contracted the expertise needed to create the Stream Evaluator for assembling the collected data and displaying them in a user-friendly manner.  The tool characterizes benchmark conditions of fish population composition, species abundance, and habitat conditions for each stream type in Michigan. The Stream Data Evaluator will be updated annually with the latest data from the MDNR Fisheries Division survey database conducted using the MDNR STP Random Site protocols. The Stream Evaluator is available here: http://www.mcgi.state.mi.us/smdt/

Board Decision Year: 2015
Michigan Department of Natural Resources - Marquette Fisheries Research Station (Marquette) Zorn, Troy (zornt@michigan.gov) Completed $71,245.00
1517 Classroom With a Current Watershed Education at the Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum "Classroom with a Current" program provided an opportunity for thousands of students to experience inquiry-based learning with a focus on the Great Lakes. Programs were designed to provide information that assisted students in becoming (1) active and effective stewards of the Great Lakes and (2) advocates for strategies that support the long-term sustainability of the Great Lakes fisheries. Programming included new museum-based field trip programs, summer camp experiences, an after-school program, and a youth watershed team. The highest level of engagement was through the summer camp experiences and field trip-based programs.

Board Decision Year: 2015
Grand Rapids Public Museum Foundation - Collections & Education (Grand Rapids) Schulz, Gina (gschulz@grmuseum.org) Completed $99,980.00
1515 Vernal Pools: Place-based Education and Stewardship

The project is complete. During the grant period, the Vernal Pool Patrol, a statewide citizen science- and place-based vernal pool mapping and monitoring program, was adapted for K-12 educators and students, primarily at the upper elementary, middle and high school levels, to get involved with the program. A total of 18 teachers/educators and over 740 upper elementary, middle, and high school students from 13 different schools across northern Michigan were trained and participated in the Vernal Pool Patrol pilot program between 2015 and 2017. Over 25 community partners also assisted the teachers and students and participated in the pilot program. All the teachers who participated in the program and the evaluation said that they would recommend the program to other teachers. The teachers also said that the students enjoyed and were highly engaged in the program. A web-based platform (i.e., Google form) was developed for students to enter, view, and download their vernal pool monitoring data as well as data collected by students monitoring other vernal pools in the project area. The Vernal Pool Patrol pilot program provided additional information on vernal pools and increased our knowledge and understanding of their status, distribution, and ecology in Michigan. At least 20 new vernal pools were identified, mapped, and monitored by the educators and students. Fairy shrimp, which only live in vernal pools, was found by the students in at least eight of the vernal pools that were monitored, including perhaps the first documentation of fairy shrimp in a wooded dune and swale natural community. The program resulted in significant increases in awareness and understanding of vernal pools and an increase in attitudes towards stewardship. It resulted in new collaborations with a number of teachers, students, and community partners, including the GLSI, and stronger and expanded existing partnerships for MNFI in the project area.

Board Decision Year: 2015
Michigan State University Extension - Michigan Natural Features Inventory (Lansing) Lee, Yu Man (leeyum@msu.edu) Completed $90,000.00
1514 Tip of the Mitt Watershed Academy

The Watershed Academy engaged and supported students from Northern Michigan high schools in water quality monitoring experiences. Students were provided with tools and knowledge to collect water quality data and assess stream health in the local watershed to foster an attitude of stewardship. Watershed Academy students worked in small groups to become experts and share their findings with classmates, school and community. Data collected at stream sites was entered into a database used to inform and prepare communities to tackle tough management issues such as invasive species management, habitat restoration and water quality in the future.

Board Decision Year: 2015
Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council (Petoskey) Buchanan, Jennifer (jen@watershedcouncil.org) Completed $39,950.00
1508 Conducting a Condition Assessment of Nearshore Fish Habitat in the Great Lakes Basin

This proposal included the three following tasks: A) Compile and summarize appropriate and available datasets; B) Identify the classification framework to be used and develop fish habitat classification; and C) Conduct Nearshore and Coastal Habitat Condition Assessment. The research team decided to divide the assessment into two parts, a Coastal and a Nearshore Assessment, in part due to the different types of data that were available and in part due to data availability and sharing constraints. The two assessments are conducted on different parts of the coastal and nearshore zones: Coastal includes habitat from 0-3 m deep and the Nearshore extends from 3 to 30 m deep (15 m in Lake Erie). The two teams coordinated throughout the project and identified a broad assessment approach that both teams followed (Fig. 1); however, due to different spatial scales and data types, the teams used zone-specific analytical approaches and fish metrics. In general, we also agreed that abundance data were preferred if possible. 

Board Decision Year: 2014
The Regents of the University of Michigan - School of Natural Resources and Environment (Ann Arbor) Riseng, Catherine (criseng@umich.edu) Completed $216,603.07
1501 Growing and Sustaining Great Lakes Restoration Successes

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes (HOW) Coalition is improving the health of the Great Lakes through their project “Growing and Sustaining Great Lakes Restoration Successes” which addresses historic threats to the Lakes through on the ground restoration work. The project will provide capacity building grants to local and state non-profit organizations in eight priority areas across the Great Lakes region to help them successfully implement restoration projects through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI)

Board Decision Year: 2014
National Wildlife Federation - Great Lakes Regional Office (Ann Arbor) Hill, Jennifer (hillj@nwf.org) Completed $99,999.60
1500 Restoring the Natural Divide: Technical Support to Develop a Long-Term Solution for Preventing the Movement of Aquatic Invasive Species in the Chicago Area Waterway System

The project will support the Chicago Area Waterway System Advisory Committee in evaluating technical issues necessary to reach consensus on a long-term solution for preventing the movement of Asian carp and other aquatic invasive species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River. The committee is working to reach consensus on a solution to this challenge and requires support from technical experts to evaluate issues related to water quality, flooding, transportation and AIS risk reduction. 

Board Decision Year: 2014
Great Lakes Commission (Ann Arbor) Doss, Matt (mdoss@glc.org) Completed $250,000.00
1498 Student 2 Steward

The Goundswell Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative Hub developed and implemented a web-based application to guide and assist educators through the process of high-quality place-based education knowledge acquisition. The application, Student 2 Steward is located at www.student2steward.com.

Board Decision Year: 2014
Grand Valley State University - Center For Educational Partnerships (Grand Rapids) Clift, Forrest (cliftf@gvsu.edu) Completed $71,441.00