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March 29, 2011

MADISON - Two new videos highlight two restoration projects along the Lake Michigan shoreline that will improve fishing, hunting and other recreation in northeastern Wisconsin.

The two are among 51 projects in Wisconsin that received funding in 2010 through federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants.

Through these funds, Brown and Oconto counties, the Department of Natural Resources and the Green Bay Area Great Lakes Sports Fishermen will continue work in 2011 to improve northern pike spawning habitat by restoring wetlands and protecting stream banks, ultimately improving the popular pike fishery, according to Steve Galarneau, director of the DNR Office of the Great Lakes.

Also along the Lake Michigan shore, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds will support efforts to remove non-native Phragmites, a fast-growing invasive grass, from more than 3,600 acres in northeastern Wisconsin.

DNR, along with Brown, Oconto Marinette, Sheboygan, Door and Manitowoc counties will work together this summer to remove the invasive plant, which will allow native wetland plants to become re-established, improving habitat and recreational opportunities along the lakeshore.

"It's exciting to see the ongoing work and new projects made possible by these federal funds. The GLRI is very important for the protection and restoration of our priceless Great Lakes water resources," says Galarneau.

Wisconsin agencies and organizations received nearly $30 million in GLRI funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 to address a variety of issues including habitat restoration, contaminated sediment, invasive species, near-shore and nonpoint source pollution, environmental monitoring and citizen education. EPA recently announced that $40 million in GLRI funds will be awarded in 2011 for additional Great Lakes projects.

"Continued GLRI funding is critical for Lake Michigan and Lake Superior," says Galarneau. "These lakes are important to our environment, our health and our economy. We have to protect the more pristine Lake Superior and work to restore Lake Michigan."

The videos and a full listing of the projects receiving Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding can be found on the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Galarneau (608) 266-1956

Last Revised: Tuesday, March 29, 2011

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