Settlement money could fund natural restoration projects
MID-MICHIGAN (WNEM) - Settlement money could be used to restore natural habitats as proposed work on nine restoration projects along the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River, and Saginaw Bay is being considered.
The projects would be paid for by separate settlements reached with DOW and General Motors.
“We’ve reached a significant milestone on this work. Putting these projects out for public comment over the next month is a key step on the way to implementing these restoration projects,” said Jeff Johnston, a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).
The Crow Island State Game Area, Bay City State Park, Chippewa Nature Center, and Saginaw Bay Coastal Wetlands are just a few of the places named among the nine restoration projects up for consideration.
“Any comments that are received will be factored into a final plan. And the target for that is April 30 to have that final plan released. And the release of that final plan essentially becomes a green light for these projects to move forward,” Johnston said.
Funding for the projects comes from two settlements. One in 2020 with DOW for dioxin contamination in the Tittabawassee River, and the other in 1998 with GM for PCB releases into the Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay. Johnston says in total, there will be $5.7 million of funds to put things back the way they were before the contamination.
“To fish and boat and enjoy and also to see wildlife come back. And plant life and everything that makes these natural resources a treasure,” Johnston said.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting comments on the plan, which can be submitted here.
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