Michigan ditches twenty-seven dams.

Fish need room- on the scale of days and months, room to move, forage, grow, and spawn. On the scale of years, room to mate, to explore and swap genes with fish the next drainage over. Room to find better habitat. Room to avoid calamity.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources received $5 million from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s America the Beautiful Challenge, a pot of $1 billion designated for restoring critical habitat for fish and wildlife.

Twenty-seven dams will be removed in fourteen Michigan counties, impacting more than 200 miles of rivers and streams. Included among these are some of the nation’s most acclaimed trout fisheries, such as the Ausable and Boardman rivers, as many coolwater and coldwater fisheries. Removing these barriers has knock-on benefits for other wildlife including amphibians, reptiles, and aquatic mussels, one of the most imperiled groups of species on the planet.

Read more about the habitat work, and what it means to the health of Michigan streams, here.

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