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Restoration plan targets Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River, and Saginaw Bay
February 23, 2023
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service accepting public comment through March 27, 2023
A draft supplemental restoration plan for the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River, and Saginaw Bay is now available for public review and comment through March 27, 2023.
The Draft Supplemental Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment is available online, with paper copies available upon request. It provides an overview of the Saginaw Bay watershed, the process used to solicit restoration ideas from stakeholders, and the subsequent development of a preferred restoration alternative for submitted projects.
The Tittabawassee River Natural Resource Trustee Council and the Saginaw River and Bay Trustee Council developed the plan and are releasing it to gather and incorporate public comment. In November 2021 the councils jointly announced funding availability for stakeholder-identified restoration projects in the Saginaw Bay watershed, including in and along the Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers.
Funding comes from two settlements for damage to natural resources in the watershed: a 2020 settlement with The Dow Chemical Company and a 1998 settlement with General Motors. The trustee councils have allocated a total of up to $5.75 million to fund new stakeholder-identified restoration projects, in addition to projects identified in previously published restoration plans for each settlement.
Trustees for the two settlements include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (U.S. FWS), Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Michigan Department of Attorney General, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, which participates on the Tittabawassee River Natural Resource Trustee Council.
The river and bay trustees evaluated 16 projects that met eligibility criteria. In some cases, trustees and project proponents further developed proposals, and several projects were combined. The resulting preferred alternative consists of nine projects and one additional proposal whose funding decision would be deferred pending the resolution of certain feasibility issues.
Two projects consist of property acquisitions or conservation easements restricting development, seven projects incorporate elements of riparian or wetland restoration and natural resource-based recreation, and one project would contribute to conservation of the state-listed endangered lake sturgeon.
The U.S. FWS is accepting comments on the plan, in writing or by e-mail, during the 30-day public comment period that begins February 23 and ends March 27. The trustees will then incorporate review and comment. They hope to publish a final restoration plan by April 30, 2023.
Comments may be e-mailed to T.River.NRDA@FWS.gov, or mailed to Lisa Williams or Clark D. McCreedy, U.S. FWS, 2651 Coolidge Road, Suite 101, East Lansing, Michigan 48823.
If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Williams at 517-351-8314 or Lisa_Williams@FWS.gov; or Clark McCreedy at 517-351-8273 or Clark_McCreedy@FWS.gov.
About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The U.S. FWS’s mission is to work with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. They are a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation and are known for scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. Learn more at FWS.gov, or connect via Facebook.com/USFWSMidwest, Twitter.com/USFWS, YouTube.com/USFWS, or Flickr.com/Photos/USFWSMidwest.
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