MRWA Plans Bigelow Creek Restoration

The Sustain our Great Lakes Program has awarded a grant to the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly (MRWA) for an extensive restoration project in Newaygo County. Funding for the project, which will focus on a section of Bigelow Creek, totals $470,519 including a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) for $214,850 and matching funds totaling $255,669.

fish-300x300According to the grant description, “the MRWA and partners will restore aquatic organism passage (AOP) and riparian tree canopy in the Muskegon River watershed. “More specifically “the project aims to restore connectivity to over 5 miles of high quality habitat in Bigelow Creek, an important cold – water tributary of the Muskegon River”.

Forest Service engineers, collaborating with Newaygo County Road Commission, will replace undersized culverts at two road stream crossings in order to restore stream function and fish passage for brook trout and other salmonids as well as forage fish.

As a second component, the MRWA and Muskegon Conservation District will restore native conifers and deciduous trees in 40 acres of riparian land with a priority for Bigelow and Cedar Creeks as well as other cool water streams in the watershed.

Sustain our Great Lakes is a diverse partnership that supports habitat restoration throughout the Great Lakes basin. Administered by the NFWF, the program receives funding and other support from ArcelorMittal, a mining and steel corporation, as well as US departments and agencies. The Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Forest Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Natural Resource Conservation Service, a division of the US Department of Agriculture, are the primary contributors.

Additionally the MRWA wishes to express our appreciation to our local partners: Michigan Trout Unlimited, the Muskegon Conservation District, the Huron-Manistee National Forest as well as the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The MRWA is an environmental non – profit organization, incorporated in 1998 as a 501 c3. For more information, please contact Julie Chamberlain, Muskegon River Watershed Assembly, Executive Director – (231) 591-2334 or email