Recently Closed Projects

Access to the Great Lakes Fishery

Grant title: Acme’s Sayler Park Boat Launch
Grant number: 2015.1596
Recipient: Acme Township, Grand Traverse County
Project manager: Jean Aukerman
Grant amount: $77,698

Acme Township constructed a small boat access site on East Grand Traverse Bay at Sayler Park. Prior to completion of this project, no public launches were available between Old Mission and Elk Rapids—separated by almost 20 car miles. Sayler Park is an established, rural 22-acre family-friendly park owned and maintained by Acme Township. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources estimates through creel census information that over the last ten years, angler effort has averaged 50,000 hours at the site, with anglers making up 50 to 70 percent of users. The GLFT contributed approximately 20 percent of the project budget. The remaining 80 percent was provided by local, state, and tribal funding sources.

More information is available on the GLFT grant library.

Grant title: Hayes Township Park, Camp Sea-Gull Fishing Pier 
Grant number: 2015.1593
Recipient: Hayes Township
Project manager: Anne Kantola
Grant amount: $23,040

Hayes Township was provided with a planning grant to assess the potential for ice damage to a proposed fishing pier on Lake Charlevoix. The township was able to quantify the potential for ice damage to the structure and develop a design to mitigate risk through structural resistance to ice forces developed in Lake Charlevoix. The results of this planning grant will be incorporated into the design for the structure.

More information is available on the GLFT grant library.

Grant title: Holland Channel Accessibility and Amenities
Grant number: 2013.1375
Recipient: Michigan Department of Natural Resources—Parks and Recreation Division
Project manager: Matt Lincoln
Grant amount: $200,000

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources improved angler access at Holland State Park by removing physical barriers and paving a walkway along the channel between Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan. The project extended shore-based access with previous improvements funded by the GLFT at the Ottawa County Beach Parks.

More information is available on the GLFT grant library.

Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative 

Grant title: Student 2 Steward
Grant number: 2014.1498
Recipient: Grand Valley State University
Project manager: Forrest Clift
Grant amount: $76,240

The Groundswell Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative Hub developed and implemented a Web-based application to guide and assist educators through the process of high-quality place-based education knowledge acquisition. The application is located at

More information is available on the GLFT grant library.

Habitat Protection and Restoration

Grant title: Coastal Lake Huron Watersheds Road-stream Crossing Inventory 
Grant number: 2015.1565
Recipient: Huron Pines
Project manager: Josh Leisen
Grant amount: $16,000

Huron Pines completed a comprehensive inventory of all road-stream crossings in 14 small coastal watersheds draining to Lake Huron. A total of 253 sites were inventoried using the Great Lakes Road-stream Crossing Inventory Protocol and added to the website to enable conservation partners to more efficiently evaluate priority restoration sites.

More information is available on the GLFT grant library.

Grant title: Stream and Wetland Restoration in Ulao CreekMilwaukee Estuary Area of Concern 
Grant number: 2014.1497
Recipient: Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department
Project manager: Matt Aho
Grant amount: $154,293

Ozaukee County completed a large-scale habitat restoration project on Ulao Creek, which is a tributary to the Milwaukee River. The project team restored multiple stream reaches for maximum ecological productivity by remeandering 1,769 feet of stream channel and reconnecting 140 acres of 100-year floodplains and 14.3 acres of wetlands, as well as installing fish habitat structures.

More information is available on the GLFT grant library.

Ecological and Biological Research to Inform Management

Grant title: Conservation of Native Fish Communities in Tributaries to the Great Lakes: Predicting the Impacts of Contaminants Delivered by Spawning Pacific Salmon
Grant number: 2012.1244
Recipient: University of Notre Dame
Principal investigator: Dominic Chaloner
Grant amount: $222,115

Dominic Chaloner, a research associate professor at the University of Notre Dame, led a team of scientists to assess the extent to which Pacific salmon migrating from the Great Lakes into tributaries during their spawning runs increase contaminant levels in local fish populations. The team focused on mercury and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), given their prevalence in the Great Lakes basin.

The team reached four principal conclusions regarding the role that Pacific salmon play in moving contaminants from one location to another and transferring those contaminants to local fish populations.

  • Different chemicals have significantly different biotransport rates. Mercury, for example, is present in the upper Great Lakes at relatively consistent levels and introduced through atmospheric deposition, which was determined to have a larger role in depositing pollutants locally than salmon-mediated biotransport. When it comes to POPs, however, biotransport can be a significant contributor.
  • Salmon eggs, rather than tissue, appear to be the most likely source of POP transfer to local fish. The amount of POPs that build up in local fish populations depends on diet and physiology. Of the species studied, brown trout were most susceptible to increased pollutant concentrations, followed by brook trout because they eat more salmon eggs. Mottled sculpin, on the other hand, were the least susceptible.
  • POP contaminant levels at the lake basin scale influence local fish contaminant levels—even in more pristine tributaries with salmon runs. In other words, in lake basins with generally higher PCB levels, like Lake Michigan, local fish, in what might be regarded as otherwise unpolluted tributaries, often have higher POP concentrations from salmon-mediated biotransportation.
  • Biological variables such as diet and growth rates, rather than physical and chemical variables, appear to influence POP levels in local fish populations.

More information is available on the GLFT grant library.

Grant title: Elucidating the Role of Herd Immunity in Protecting of Lake Michigan Fish Against the Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHS)
Grant number: 2012.1257
Recipient: Michigan State University, Departments of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigations
Principal investigator: Mohamed Faisal
Grant amount: $341,844

Mohamed Faisal and a team of scientists investigated preventative measures against VHS. The team successfully developed a vaccination regimen that may be used in hatcheries. Experimental data and simulation models demonstrated that hatchery fish can be used to confer protection to wild fish populations against this deadly virus. 

More information is available on the GLFT grant library.