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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman has presented the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians a $600,000 check for projects to restore the Manistee River watershed in northern Michigan.
"The Little River Band was chosen to receive this grant because they demonstrated the ability to achieve tangible environmental results in a short time," Whitman said. "By providing grants to locally based groups, we are helping them develop plans that best meet the unique needs their watersheds face from such hazards as nonpoint source pollution."
Whitman presented the check at Region 5's Tribal Operations Committee meeting at the Prairie Island Indian Community in Welch, Minn. There are 35 Indian tribes in Region 5, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
The Little River Band was recently selected as one of 20 grant recipients in EPAs new Watershed Initiative. A total of $15 million will go to watershed organizations to fund restoration and protection projects.
The Little River Band includes 2,600 tribal members and the river provides important resources which are vital to its survival. It will use its grant for several projects, including
repairing road and stream crossings,
stabilizing stream banks,
extensive monitoring of water quality, habitat inventories and fish assessments, and
reclaiming a sturgeon spawning site.