Congress has found that the Great Lakes comprise a nationally and internationally significant fishery and ecosystem that should be developed and enhanced in a coordinated manner. Section 506 authorized $100 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to cooperate with other federal, state, and local agencies and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to plan, implement, and evaluate projects supporting the restoration of the fishery, ecosystem, and beneficial uses of the Great Lakes, with 35 percent matching funds from non-federal project sponsors.
Projects that restore fish and wildlife habitat, remove dams and other barriers to fish migration, prevent and control non-native invasive species, and eliminate beneficial use impairments in Areas of Concern are eligible for funding through the program. Completed projects shown above include:
- Frankenmuth Rock Ramp Project (Cass River, MI) – In 2015 this fish passage project was completed, which included construction of a rock ramp structure over the 100 year old dam. This project reconnected 73 miles of the mainstem of the Cass River, and provided over 1,000 miles of additional tributary habitat to Great Lakes migratory fish species.
- Underwood Creek Fish Passage Project (Underwood Creek, WI) – In 2018, this tributary habitat restoration project was completed, which included removal of approximately 4,000 linear feet of concrete channel and installation of natural stream features (gravel/cobble substrate, meanders, and deep riffle-pool complexes). This project also provided connectivity to the Menomonee River, and re-established access to 400 acres of wetland habitat and an additional 140 acres of northern pike spawning habitat.tored stream bed upstream
Completed Frankenmuth Rock Ramp GLFER Project, Cass River, MI.
Completed Underwood Creek GLFER Project, Wauwatosa WI.