Courtesy:  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

DETROIT — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District has awarded a contract for $498,973.45,  September 23, 2014, to Ecology & Environment, Inc. for aquatic and riverbank ecosystem restoration throughout Strawberry, Boom, Blueberry, and Little Blueberry islands within the Menominee River area of concern (AOC) located between Marinette, WI and Menominee, MI.

The work is being conducted through the USACE Detroit District, under the authority of the USACE Engineer and Research Development Center’s Aquatic Plant Control Research Program. The contract has been awarded to Ecology & Environment, Inc. They are a recognized global leader in environmental management and have supported and completed the design and implementation of aquatic plant control/ecosystem restoration projects in numerous locations around the Great Lakes.

As part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), the ecosystem restoration project will include planning, designing, and implementing a full-scale project that demonstrate means of removing, adaptively monitoring, and controlling aquatic invasive plants.  Particular focus of control will be for the non-native common buckthorn, glossy buckthorn, and bush honeysuckle.  River bank grape, an aggressive native vine, is also being targeted for control as it is affecting the ecological integrity of some of the islands where colonial wading birds are known to nest.  Rapid expansion of these nuisance plants has devastated aquatic, wetland, and riparian habitats throughout the AOC and the Great Lakes.

The four island site encompasses approximately 17 acres, of which approximately 10 acres are dominated by invasive plants.  General treatment options identified for control include:  mechanical removal, chemical treatment, and habitat modification through the restoration of native species.

In 2010, the Obama Administration created the multi-year, multi-agency initiative to restore the Great Lakes.  GLRI funds are administered and distributed through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For additional information about the GLRI program visit: .