- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A partnership led by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians will receive $7.9 million from the federal government to improve aquatic habitat and protect sensitive lands in Michigan’s northwestern Lower Peninsula.

The project was among 84 selected for funding under a U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation program.

The Tribal Stream and Michigan Fruitbelt Collaborative partners will improve habitat and passageways for fish and other organisms at 66 stream crossings and dams.

Land conservancies will purchase conservation easements to nearly 3,000 acres of specialty crop farm land. Officials say the easements will help ensure that the conservation projects are not undermined by changes in watershed hydrology.

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