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Bay City – Michigan will receive nearly $1 million from the federal government to build two rock reef formations in the Saginaw Bay.

The Bay City Times reports that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the funding last week. Michigan Department of Natural Resources fisheries research biologist Dave Fielder says the project will help fishermen and should be finished by summer 2019. Fielder says the reefs protect spawning grounds and nursery habitats for walleye and whitefish and are expected to bolster those populations.

Just traces of former formations are left in Saginaw Bay. Most were buried under sediment from farming and logging nearly a century ago. The reefs will each be an acre in size and rise 3 to 4 feet off the waters’ bottom.

The EPA says the Saginaw Bay is valued at more than $33 million annually as a recreational fishery.

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