$3.9 in grant awards were announced June 4 by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. The funding is divided among ten environmental organizations across the state
Sarah U’ren is the program director at The Watershed Center of Grand Traverse Bay in Leelanau County which is receiving nearly three hundred thousand dollars.
She said EGLE gave her organization a grant for their “project to remove and replace two undersized culverts at stream crossings on Kids Creek, and both of these will be removed and replaced with pedestrian crossings.”
U’ren says the current culverts are too narrow, and have led to issues with the aquatic ecosystem of the creek. She said the creek has a low aquatic insect count, which indicates poor health, “if a stream doesn’t have good insects, it won’t have good fish.” She said the new culverts will be wider, to allow the stream to flow more naturally.
U’ren said the pedestrian crossings also contribute to another project, Traverse City’s safe routes to school project.
“What they’re doing, is putting in a trail system to help kids get to school safely, and our project is actually located on the trail that they have planned, so we’ll be removing these culverts and replacing them in conjunction with them to determine what kind of crossings the city will need for that,” said U’ren
Both projects are set to begin construction next year.