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EGLE provides grant to U of M for wild rice stewardship

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Posted at 4:09 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 16:18:20-05

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE)’s office is providing $100,000 to support the stewardship of wild rice.

EGLE reports the grant is two years and will aid in the creation of a wild rice stewardship plan. The plan will be created by the Michigan Wild Rice Initiative and sponsored at the University of Michigan.

“The Michigan Wild Rice Initiative Team (MWRIT) is excited to work with the University of Michigan Water Center to develop a collaborative manoomin stewardship plan that acknowledges manoomin as a sacred relative and important member of aquatic communities across the Great Lakes region. Funding provided through the Michigan Great Lakes Protection Fund will fill a critical capacity gap for the MWRIT and allow the group to move this long-discussed planning effort forward,” said Danielle Fegan, wildlife assessment biologist with the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and co-chair of the MWRIT with Katie Lambeth, EGLE’s environmental justice and tribal liaison.

Zizania palustris and Zizania aquatica are native to the Great Lakes region and parts of Canada. EGLE reports that Michigan’s wild rice can be found in shallow waters of inland lakes, slow-flowing streams, and Great Lakes embayment.

Wild rice is under threat due to climate change, habitat loss, uninformed harvesting practices, and degraded water quality among other factors. According to EGLE the U-M Water Center will collaborate with MWRIT and tribes to identify all plan elements and secure resources.