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DTE Energy Foundation invests $100,000 in Huron River revitalization

ANN ARBOR---The Huron River Watershed Council has been awarded a one-year, $100,000 grant from the DTE Energy Foundation to invest in river restoration, recreation and local economies through its RiverUp! program.

RiverUp! is the signature place-making campaign for the Huron River and its communities. Through this effort, HRWC leads a public-private partnership to help riverfront communities maximize the river corridor as a key community asset that attracts residents, visitors and businesses.

“The investment from DTE Energy Foundation will help our partnership to promote the health of the river and develop the blue economy in the communities along the Huron,” shares Elizabeth Riggs, HRWC Deputy Director and RiverUp! Manager. “We are pleased that this contribution will expand our impact from Milford to Ann Arbor to Flat Rock and develop the river as a focal point for residents and visitors.”

“The DTE Energy Foundation is pleased to support the Huron River Watershed Council in its efforts to restore the Huron River corridor, add amenities for visitors, and improve attractions that will draw new business and economic growth,” said Faye Nelson, DTE Energy vice president, Public Affairs and president of the DTE Energy Foundation. “Our grant will enhance the environmental benefits of the Huron River watershed and make it an inviting community asset for generations to come.”

The grant will allow HRWC to implement priority projects in three main areas:

  • Invest in river-related recreation through creation and sustainability of the Huron River Water Trail

  • Improve river ecology through more natural flow regimes, in-stream habitat restoration, and remediating riverfront brownfields

  • Transform the river corridor by turning communities toward the Huron and creating a premier destination in Michigan and the Great Lakes through creation of Trail Towns, arts and cultural heritage features, land trail connectivity, and branding

Examples of on-the-ground improvements include way-finding kiosks in Trail Towns from Dexter to Flat Rock, riverside viewing benches in Ann Arbor, construction of safe portages for kayaks and canoes around dams and access points, Trail Towns Master Plans for the five largest river communities, and native fish and bird habitat restoration projects.

The grant is part of a three-year fundraising effort to raise $1 million for RiverUp! from private and public sources. These funds leverage over $30 million in direct river corridor and parks improvements by partner organizations.

The Huron River Watershed Council protects and restores the river for healthy and vibrant communities. HRWC is nonprofit coalition of local communities, businesses, and residents established in 1965 to protect the Huron River system. HRWC envisions a future of clean and plentiful water for people and nature where citizens and government are effective and courageous champions for the Huron River and its watershed. Services include hands-on citizen education, technical assistance in policy development, and river protection and monitoring projects. Follow us on Twitter: @hrwc

The Huron River Water Trail is supported by the RiverUp! campaign, and is designated a National Water Trail.

RiverUp! is a plan for the Huron River’s future—a strategy to realize the goal of a vibrant, robust, and restored river as a destination for residents, visitors, and businesses. The Huron River Watershed Council leads the RiverUp! partnership with the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Office, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, and the Wolfpack, a group of 75 business and community leaders and organizations. View related video content at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFCFywdeWzv1h6qU4dRIQq07FFEK__pXM

The DTE Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy, continuing the legacy of community support and involvement of its electric and natural gas utilities, which serve 2.1 million electric customers in Southeast Michigan and 1.2 million natural gas customers in Michigan. As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress. http://www.dteenergy.com/foundation