Report lauds restoration at Great Lakes national parks

A new report from the National Parks Conservation Association highlights several Great Lakes Restoration Initiative projects taking place in national parks along the lakes.

The NPCA report, A Sound Investment: Restoring the Great Lakes in our National Parks, highlights six GLRI-funded projects at our Great Lakes national parks.

There are 13 national parks in the Great Lakes watershed. The national parks located on the lakes — which include Sleeping Bear Dunes along Lake Michigan, Isle Royale in Lake Superior, and Perry’s Victory in Lake Erie — feature 620 miles of shoreline, beaches, dunes, and wetlands.

National parks in the Great Lakes watershed provide biological, historical, and recreational value for the more than six million people who visit each year. The parks are also economic engines, with every dollar invested generating about $10 for nearby Great Lakes communities.

Sadly, national parks on the Great Lakes face many of the same problems that plague other parts of the lakes: Invasive species, polluted runoff and the loss of wetlands.

The NPCA report highlights the GLRI is combating invasive species and restoring natural features in Great Lakes national parks. Read the report here.

One example of GLRI funding in action is the “Reconnecting Waterways” project at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, which has created jobs for land surveyors, hydrologists, and soil scientists and has engaged hundreds of volunteers. So far, nearly 55 acres of wetlands have been restored and native water birds such as coots, kingfishers, and green herons have returned to the national lakeshore after being gone from the park for more than 100 years.

 

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