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Grant program to help fix or remove aging dams in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is offering grants to help maintain or remove aging dams.

The $2.3 million program will provide funding and technical assistance to state agencies, local governments, nonprofits and other applicants.

DNR Director Keith Creagh says more than 90 percent of Michigan's dams will reach or exceed the lifespan for which they were designed by 2020. Most were built decades ago for power generation, transporting logs, recreation or other purposes.

He says many have since been abandoned or outlived their usefulness. They can degrade water resources and pose safety hazards.

The American Society of Civil Engineers recently gave the state a "D" in its 2009 Dam Infrastructure Rating.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.