NOAA Administrator joins GLC Muskegon Lake project partners for Earth Day
NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, spent Earth Day in Muskegon, Mich., April 22 celebrating an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)-funded wetland and shoreline restoration project recently initiated by the Great Lakes Commission and the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission.
A $10 million stimulus grant awarded by NOAA is enabling the removal of more than 180,000 tons of sawmill waste and demolition materials from the Muskegon Lake shoreline and the restoration of almost two miles of hardened shoreline to native vegetation for fish and wildlife habitat.
“This is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s initiatives to bolster the economy and create jobs that promote blue-green growth while ensuring conservation,” said Lubchenco, who noted that the project will generate work for some 70 full-time employees while restoring almost 24 acres of wetland habitat.
Lubchenco joined GLC Commissioner and Michigan Office of the Great Lakes Director Ken DeBeaussaert, GLC Executive Director Tim Eder, WMSRDC Environmental Planning Program Manager Kathy Evans and other project partners on a NOAA research vessel to inspect the project work sites by water.
Said Debeausseart, “As we celebrate this project, let’s bear in mind that we aren’t just repairing mistakes from the past, but actually building a better future for ourselves and our children.”
Of the $830 million that NOAA received in ARRA “stimulus” funds, some $167 million has been allocated to 50 habitat restoration projects around the country, selected from over 800 proposals. Contact: Matt Doss, firstname.lastname@example.org.