Hills grant aids creek project

The City of Rochester Hills has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that will allow for the completion of the Avon Creek restoration project.

“As one of only four projects awarded in the State of Michigan, this grant will allow us to complete the third and final phase,” said Tara Beatty, Chief Assistant to Mayor Bryan Barnett.

Avon Creek is part of the Clinton River Area of Concern. Loss of fish and wildlife habitat and reductions in fish populations are two of several impacts the city is working to reverse.

In 2010, the city began restoration after being awarded a similar grant for $135,000. “We realized additional funding would be necessary if we were going to make the impact that we were hoping for,” said Roger Moore, director of the city’s Department of Public Services. “We applied for an additional $90,000 grant in order to complete the project.”

The latest grant will fund the completion of the pond bypass, which will allow fish passage and reduced water temperature in the Avon Creek. The grant will also fund the continued creek restoration downstream behind the Clinton River Watershed office.

“This project represents our ongoing commitment to restoring fish habitat and protecting our natural amenities,” Barnett said. “There are some great trails back there, and really we’ve done a lot to improve the fish and wildlife habitat. … It’s a nice entrance to our community to show what we’ve done.”

The grants were awarded under the Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a Department of the Interior agency. A total of 29 project proposals were submitted, competing for over $400,000 in funding. The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov.

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