How 萨吉诺 Bay Restored an Historic Fish Spawning Habitat
保护基金的 萨吉诺 Bay 水shed Initiative Network (WIN) program has spent years rebuilding 的 historic fish spawning habitats to restore resilient 和 diverse fish population throughout 的 bay. 的 culmination of this work can be seen in 的 15-minute long documentary, 科里永. Produced by Fauna Creative, 的 film follows 萨吉诺 Bay WIN 和 its partners as 的y work to restore 2 acres of reef 和 ensure a sustainable fish population 和 fishing economy throughout 的 Bay.
After 的 film’s release, we spoke with Laura Ogar, Director of 的 Bay County Department of Environmental Affairs 和 社区发展, to learn more about 的 project 和 its impact.
劳拉 Ogar: 就我而言，这是从2001年我在这里开始工作的那一周开始的。 office, I found a stapled report, typed in old typewriter font dated 1968. It was a Study of 的 Conditions of 的 萨吉诺 Bay Fish Spawning Reefs. It described 的 historic fish spawning reefs located as glacial remnants in 的 bay that had over time been buried by sediment. 的 report went on to describe 的 bay bottom in 1968 as mostly sand 和 silt covered, lacking fish spawning habitat. I read that 和 I immediately wanted to get that reef restored.
I started asking around 和 making 的 case that we need to restore 的 spawning reef 和 I was told finally that it wasn’t going to happen. “根本改变了什么？” “他们被沉积物掩埋了。会有不同的结果吗？ –如果我们恢复珊瑚礁，它们将再次被掩埋。 It is not a good use of public money.” It was frustrating as it was general knowledge that most of 的 sediment in 的 bay had washed off agricultural land 和 drained into 的 rivers, settling down once it got to 的 bay.
基金： What changed?
LO： 我对许多人持怀疑态度 many many years. 但是发生了两件事。 农业激励计划不断发展，农业 研究开始表明，新的覆盖作物类型的土壤保护措施可能有益于生长 率和土壤生产力。覆盖农作物种子 同时种植 使次生叶类作物在收获期间茂盛，保持地面覆盖和土壤就位。这意味着风或雨的侵蚀明显减少，海湾的沉积和沉积减少，田间的土壤健康状况也得到改善。 Win, win, win.
周围 2010, a scientific sediment loading model was developed 和 undertaken for 的 Saginaw River. 的 model results showed that 的re were geographic areas now in 的 萨吉诺 Bay that would no longer receive heavy sediment loading. Within that geography were a number of 历史悠久的产卵珊瑚礁地点，即 the Coreyon reef site.
基金： Have you seen any changes in 萨吉诺 Bay since this project started?
LO： Yes, we’ve seen an interest tick up. People are excited 和 curious about a reef being built in 的 萨吉诺 Bay. A fish spawning reef is pretty cool!
基金： What does 的 restoration project mean to 的 communities around 的 Bay?
LO： 这意味着我们正朝着更健康，更完整的生态系统迈进，我们终于摆脱了环境恶化，损失和负面影响的悲剧性过去，终于进入了恢复状态。这意味着环境恢复 and 关闭我们受伤的过去的大门。社交上， it means health 和 wellness from 的 water up. Economically, it means for really 的 first time in probably 100 years we can speak proudly about 的 bounty of 的 bay, whether you fish or not. 的 bay is alive 和 that makes everything more alive.
“The 密西根州 Department of Natural Resources has estimated 的 value of 萨吉诺 Bay’s recreational fishery at $30 million. Communities around 的 萨吉诺 Bay 和 的 river systems that feed it depend on a sustainable fishery to support businesses that depend on tourism 和 recreation. Restoring 的se reef complexes are an important way to preserve 和 invigorate 的se fish species that people come from all around 的 country to enjoy.
Healthy reefs support spawning fish populations, 和 encourage recreational fishing 和 tourism that is estimated to be valued at $30 million in 的 萨吉诺 Bay region.”
LO： It’s awesome. It is a serious 和 significant professional goal accomplished. One I always believed would happen but wasn’t sure if I’d be around for it. It’s tough to move a mountain, but we did it. We made a mountain out 的re, a shallow but interesting enough feature for fish propagation.
LO： This would not have happened without partnerships. 的 scientists couldn’t get funded without local community participation to show value 和 meaning for sustainability purposes. 没有科学知识，社区就无法获得资助，这证明这不是一件愚蠢的事。如果不是一些专门的利益相关者，资助者就不会有项目可以资助。
LO： 持久的回报。 如果你相信某事， don’t give up on it.
To learn more about 的 Coreyon project 和 萨吉诺 Bay 水shed Initiative Network, watch 的 full video here.