Highlights from the News Release:
- In October, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC) a $600,000 grant through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
- WMSRDC will partner with its West Michigan Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) partners, including Ottawa County Parks, to launch efforts to control and eradicate Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA).
- Grant funds will be used to survey and record infestations throughout Lake Michigan’s coastal zone.
- The grant will allow for the treatment and protection of 65,000+ acres of Lake Michigan shoreline and coastal zone from the effects of HWA. It will also help to cover treatment costs for private landowners.
- The project also includes outreach and education for public and private landowners; effective data management; early detection, rapid response and treatment of infested sites.
- In 2016, eradication efforts led by CISMA and Ottawa County Parks transitioned from a few contained escapes from nursery stock to a more widespread problem.
- “…there are many factors that lead us to believe that early efforts can contain the infestation and prevent the major loss of forest, but immediate action must occur if we are to remain optimistic,” said Melanie Manion, Ottawa County Parks.
- Public outreach and education will be conducted in Oceana, Muskegon, Ottawa, and Allegan Counties.
To read the article in its entirety, click here.