Frey Foundation Partners With Ducks Unlimited On Local Project
Grant to increase habitat, improve water quality.
Ann Arbor, Michigan – -(AmmoLand.com)- A major environmental effort in southwestern Michigan recently got a boost. The conservation organization Ducks Unlimited (DU) received a grant of $160,000 from the Frey Foundation. The grant will be used to protect and restore valuable habitat through DU’s Southeast Lake Michigan Watershed program. The three-year goal of the program is to protect, restore, or enhance 7,917 acres of vital Michigan habitat across the Muskegon, Grand, and Kalamazoo River watersheds.
Across Michigan, an intricate network of streams, rivers, lakes, and other wetlands form the watersheds which sustain the Great Lakes, the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem. The Southeast Lake Michigan Watershed has experienced some of the highest rates of wetland and native prairie loss in the state. Agriculture and urban development have resulted in drained wetlands, fragmented forests, and increased sedimentation and nutrient loading in the watershed’s lakes and streams. Ducks Unlimited has identified the Muskegon, Grand, and Kalamazoo River watersheds as areas in critical need of wetland and associated upland conservation.
“The Frey Foundation’s generous award is vital to our ability to conserve western Michigan’s wetland habitats,” said Michael Sertle, Regional Biologist, “and we thank the Frey Foundation for its continued support of Ducks Unlimited.”
Restoration efforts will include the re-establishment of shallow water wetlands and native grasslands. These restorations may involve the removal of field drainage tile, plugging drainage ditches, building low-level berms, and installing water-control structures to restore the natural hydrology of these degraded wetlands. Native warm-season grasses may be planted adjacent to the restored wetlands to provide nesting cover and to improve water quality.
The Frey Foundation, based in Grand Rapids, is one of Michigan’s largest family foundations. Grants are provided primarily to non-profit organizations in western Michigan for projects to enhance children’s development, protect natural resources, promote the arts, and expand philanthropic and civic action.
The Frey Foundation was established in 1974 and permanently endowed in 1988 from the estate of Edward J. and Frances T. Frey. Mr. Frey was longtime chief executive officer of Union bank (now Chase) and founded Foremost Insurance Company in Grand Rapids. It was the next generation, David G. Frey, Edward J. Frey Jr., John M. Frey, and Mary Caroline (Twink) Frey that developed the family foundation that operates today.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with almost 12 million acres conserved. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands ? nature’s most productive ecosystem ? and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.