Grant adds 1,475 acres

to pristine natural area

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative helped a Michigan conservation district add 1,475 acres of ecologically significant wetlands to the Bete Grise Preserve along Lake Superior.

Description

The Bete Grise Preserve is located near the tip of the scenic Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The state of Michigan long ago identified Bete Grise as one of the highest quality dune swale wetland systems remaining in the Upper Great Lakes. It is also a beautiful, remote area on the shores of Lake Superior. In the 1990s, International Paper targeted the site for an upscale residential development. A five-year fundraising effort by several conservation groups resulted in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2004 providing a $1.4 million grant to purchase 1,104 acres of property and preserve the site as a natural area. In 2010, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration used money from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to grant to Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District another $1.7 million to add more than 1,475 acres to the Bete Grise Preserve.

Resource Challenges Addressed

  • Degraded coastal dune ecology
  • Low biological diversity
  • degraded coastal wetlands

BETE GRISE WETLANDS ACQUISTION

Wetland with clouds reflecting in the water.

Wetland areas, like the one pictured above, provide important habitat for animals and plants. Credit: Courtney Celley U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Results and Accomplishments

The grant from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative added 1,475 acres to the Bete Grise Preserve, which will protect in perpetuity one of the highest quality dune and wetland complexes in the upper Great Lakes.