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Grand Traverse Bay Area receives over 1.5 million dollars for conservation

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The grant awards which come from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, were announced November 3.

Three conservation groups who were awarded money say it will support projects addressing water quality, dune preservation, and invasive species.

Emily Cook is with the Grand Traverse Conservation District, one of the organizations to receive funding. She said the funding supports the ongoing conservation work in the area.

“It’s a hot bed for natural resources. There is a lot of conservation work done with a lot of wonderful organizations for quite a few years. I think this was an opportunity for everyone to work together.”

Cook said the Conservation District’s focus will be on invasive species.

“That includes outreach and education about invasive species, on the ground treatment and management, and also some restoration work which we’re excited about. We’re not just going out and killing plants we’re also trying to restore that native habitat after they’re controlled.”

Cook said controlling invasive species is essential.

“Invasive species have the ability to come into an area and completely change the landscape so when we’re able to go in and manage these invasive species and educate folks about them we are really contributing to the longest, the health of this area.”

All three of the conservation organizations, the two others being The Nature Conservancy and the Watershed Center of Grand Traverse Bay, are partners through the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network.