Forest Service Supports Restoration Efforts in the Great Lakes Region

Contact(s): Franklin Pemberton

Milwaukee, WI (March 2, 2021) —The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, is pleased to announce the distribution of over $985,500 in grants to 21 organizations working to control invasive plants within the Great Lakes region. These Cooperative Weed Management Area grants are provided through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

“The Forest Service is proud to work side by side with the wide array of organizations taking effective, local approaches to improve the Great Lakes ecosystem,” said Gina Owens, Forest Service Regional Forester. “The diversity of forest ownership throughout the basin means we must all work together to serve the millions of people who rely on clean water and healthy forests for their day to day lives.”

The Environmental Protection Agency leads the GLRI, which was launched in 2010 to accelerate efforts to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water in the world — the Great Lakes. As one of the GLRI’s 16 regional working group members, the Forest Service uses GLRI resources to strategically target the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem and accelerate progress toward long-term restoration goals. These grants support local efforts that take a collaborative, coordinated approach to controlling invasive species. Invasive species pose a risk to ecological resiliency, watershed stability and biological diversity.

This year, recipients in the Great Lakes basin states of Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin received funding ranging from $31,000 to $50,000. Each recipient will provide a minimum 20% match for this funding, in collaboration with state or local partners, donors or volunteers.

The funded projects build on overall GLRI restoration and protection efforts, focused on:

  • Cleaning up Great Lakes areas of concern
  • Preventing and controlling invasive species
  • Reducing nutrient runoff that contributes to harmful/nuisance algal blooms
  • Restoring habitat to protect native species
  • Implementing science-based adaptive management


2021 Forest Service Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) Grant Recipients:



Marquette County Conservation District – $49,997

Project: Partnering for Native Restoration and Non-native Invasive Plant Management in Lake to Lake Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA)


Chippewa Luce Mackinac Conservation District – $48,217

Project: Three Shores CISMA Drummond Island Management Initiative


Iron Baraga Conservation District – $50,000

Project: Western Peninsula Invasive Species Coalition CWMA: Resources for Every Season, and All Times


Van Buren Conservation District – $40,232

Project: SWxSW Corner CISMA Defends Wetlands Through Priority Invasive Species Management


Grand Traverse Conservation District – $49,944      

Project: Sustaining the Invasive Species Network     


Ottawa Conservation District – $50,000

Project: Managing Phragmites in West Michigan      


Mason-Lake Conservation District – $50,000

Project: Parks as Showplaces for Control and Restoration     


Ingham Conservation District – $48,337       

Project: Detection and Control of Aquatic Invasive Species in the Mid-Michigan CISMA 


Huron Pines Resource Conservation and Development Council – $50,000     

Project: Huron Coastal Invasive Species Network – Pathways and Priority Areas 


Chippewa Nature Center – $49,984

Project: Tittabawassee River Survey – Post-flood Effects on Invasive Species



Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District – $50,000          

Project: Regional Coordination and Facilitation of Non-native Invasive Species Management


New York      

The Nature Sanctuary Society of Western New York – $31,320            

Project: Invasive Species Management to Protect Rare Habitats at Alexander and Houghton Preserves        


Hobart and William Smith Colleges – $47,332

Project: Eradication of High Priority Invasive Species to Protect Important Wetland Communities within the Lake Ontario Watershed        


Research Foundation for SUNY – $35,193

Project: Western New York Japanese Stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) Early Detection and Rapid Response Project         



The Nature Conservancy – $50,000

Project: Early Detection Rapid Response in the Oak Openings Region         


The Nature Conservancy – $50,000 

Project: From Projects to a Program: Building on the Lessons of a Decade   



Western Pennsylvania Conservancy – $35,000

Project: Control of Tree-of-heaven in the Lake Erie Watershed      



Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium – $50,000

Project: Restoring Lake Michigan Ecosystems           


Bayfield County – $50,000   

Project: Managing and Monitoring Non-native Invasive Species in the Lake Superior Basin of Wisconsin       


Golden Sands Resource Conservation and Development – $50,000

Project: Central Wisconsin Invasives Partnership: Invasive Plant Control to Create Habitat for the Endangered Karner Blue Butterfly    


Wisconsin Tribal Conservation Advisory Council – $50,000

Project: CWMA for Tribal Lands in Wisconsin