Grant Program Benefits Northern Michigan Waterways

Paddle Antrim is pleased to announce they will award $4,627 to four projects that benefit Northern Michigan’s waterways through their Ripple Effect Mini Grant Program.

Paddle Antrim’s Ripple Effect Mini Grant Program is fully funded through earned income from the nonprofit’s events such as the Paddle Antrim Festival as well as paddling classes. “A portion of the income we earn through our events goes directly into this program,” said Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim Executive Director. “This program allows our small nonprofit to expand our reach and build partnerships with like-minded organizations whose projects align with our mission.”

Funding for the Fall 2022 grant program was awarded to Antrim County Emergency Management, The Watershed Center for Grand Traverse Bay, Grass River Natural Area, and Three Lakes Association.

Antrim County Emergency Management received funding for a child mannequin for CPR and water rescue training for all fire and emergency responders in Antrim County. “This effort serves 11 fire departments, 3 EMS agencies, and 6 law enforcement divisions throughout the county,” said Leslie Meyers, Emergency Services Coordinator for Antrim County. “This project benefits county residents, property owners, visitors to our area – with an emphasis on all children who take advantage of our beautiful lakes for recreation and sport.”

The Watershed Center for Grand Traverse Bay will use the funding to help fund their Road Salt Monitoring Pilot Project. The goal of this project is to estimate chloride concentrations in various locations throughout the Elk River Chain of Lakes watershed. “The beauty and health of our natural resources makes our region a desired place to live, work and visit,” said Heather Smith, Grand Traverse Baykeeper. “This project will allow us to better understand if road salting practices may be impacting surface waters in the Elk River Chain of Lakes.”

 A staff member at the Grass River Natural Area (GRNA)  will receive certification to treat invasive species through this funding. “This will enable GRNA to treat invasive plants in aquatic contacts, in wetlands, and in roadside and trailside ditches that connect to the watershed,” said Emily Burke, Conservation and Education Specialist at GRNA. “The major goal of this project is total eradication of invasive plants of known existing populations by 2025 at GRNA,” Burke says.

Three Lakes Association will use this funding to continue their ongoing investigation into the root causes of golden-brown algae (GBA) that has accumulated on the bottom of area lakes in recent years. This funding will also help to develop a strategy for long term monitoring of GBA in Torch Lake in partnership with Torch Lake Protection Alliance and Torch Conservation Center.  “GBA impacts the recreational experience for all lake users: boaters, area visitors, water sports enthusiasts, members of the community and everyone who enjoys the clear water lakes in our region. The knowledge we gain here may lead to actions that can improve their overall experience,” said Rick Doornbos, Three Lakes Association Vice President and Water Quality Chair.  

Paddle Antrim’s mission is to protect our water resources and enhance the economic vitality of the region through stewardship, education, improved water trail access and promotion of the waterways. Since 2015, Paddle Antrim has funded 21 projects, awarded over $30,400, and impacted more than 10 communities through their Ripple Effect Mini Grant Program. The next round of funding will be in May 2023. 

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