Contact:
Shelli DiFranco
The Watershed Center
sdifranco@gtbay.org
231.935.1514 ext. 5

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THE WATERSHED CENTER RECEIVES $167K GRANT TO IMPROVE KIDS CREEK
FUNDS ALLOW FOR ENGINGEERING PLANS AND HABITAT RESTORATION,
CHART PATH FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDING

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – August 29, 2018 – The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay has received a $167,313 grant from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Fisheries program and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to create engineering plans to replace four road-stream crossings and to restore habitat for native species along a 3,000-foot stretch of Kids Creek.

Kids Creek is the only waterway in the Grand Traverse Bay watershed that is listed on Michigan’s Impaired Waters List. The Watershed Center has been working to improve the creek for the last 15 years.

“We are thrilled to have this investment from NOAA to prepare engineering plans to kick off work on this section of Kids Creek,” said Sarah U’Ren, Program Director at The Watershed Center. “This project will improve fish passage, stream stability, habitat for aquatic insects, and water quality along this stretch of a cherished urban stream.”

The habitat restoration work will focus on a 3,000-foot section between U.S. 31 and Silver Lake Road, where Kids Creek flows through a degraded wetland almost entirely comprised of reed canary grass, an invasive plant. The grant also funds engineering plans to be drawn up for four Kids Creek road stream crossings within the City of Traverse City that are undersized and are slated to be replaced with larger, open bottom structures.

“These road crossings are critical infrastructure pieces and major rehabilitation and replacement is recommended since they are nearing the end of their useful life,” said Marty Colburn, City Manager for the City of Traverse City. “This project is a win-win. We wanted to replace them with correctly sized crossings with natural stream bottoms, which will also be great for our fishermen as it will create better habitat for native species, like the Michigan state fish, brook trout.” The City of Traverse City is also matching the grant with $166,500 of in-kind staff time to design and oversee construction efforts for the road stream crossing improvements.

This grant lays the groundwork for an additional $2.2 million of NOAA funding in the coming years to cover construction costs for the habitat restoration and road stream crossings. Engineering design and construction oversight for the in-stream habitat improvements will be completed by Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc.

For more about the past, present, and future of Kids Creek, visit www.gtbay.org/kidscreek.

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The Watershed Center is a non-profit organization that advocates for clean water in Grand Traverse Bay and acts to protect and preserve its 1,000-square mile watershed, which covers portions of Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Antrim, and Kalkaska counties. Learn more at www.gtbay.org.

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