DETROIT, MICHIGAN (LATMITV) – Ducks Unlimited and numerous partners conserved 1,454 acres of wetland habitat across nine Michigan project sites in 2018, greatly improving water quality and wildlife habitat.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats.
A total of $3,197,876 was invested in the projects. Partners included the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Six Rivers Land Conservancy, corporate partners such as Axalta Coating Systems, major donors and Ducks Unlimited members.
The milestones in 2018 added to a sizeable historical investment in Michigan. Over the last 30 years, Ducks Unlimited has protected, restored or enhanced nearly 84,000 wetland acres on more than 400 project sites across the state, investing $43 million into wetland habitats.
“Michigan’s wetlands play a significant role for Great Lakes and continental waterfowl,” said Dane Cramer, Ducks Unlimited regional biologist in Michigan. “But our wetlands are also crucial for water quality for drinking and recreation. Michigan has lost 50 percent of its wetlands, habitat which helps filter rainwater before it enters the Great Lakes. The more wetlands we can put back on the landscape, the better for ducks and residents.”
Highlights from 2018 include:
• William C. Sterling State Park, Monroe County – Ducks Unlimited and the DNR installed a fish passage and a wetland water-level management structure at one of the most visited state parks in Michigan. Sterling adds to several coastal wetland projects Ducks Unlimited and DNR State Parks have completed since the onset of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in 2010.
• Anchor Bay Woods Preserve, New Baltimore – Ducks Unlimited helped Six Rivers Land Conservancy purchase 38 acres of wet-mesic flatwood forest to add to its Anchor Bay Woods Preserve. The preserve is one of the largest remaining intact blocks of wet-mesic flatwood forest in the state, and one of the rarest forest types in Michigan.
• Shiawassee River State Game Area, Saginaw – Ducks Unlimited is improving 1,200 acres of wetlands at Shiawassee River State Game Area by replacing aging infrastructure. Resorting water-level management will better equip the DNR to mimic wetland water cycles and increase the wetland value for ducks.
• St. Johns Marsh, St. Clair County – Ducks Unlimited and the DNR are enhancing 295 acres of managed coastal wetland habitat at St. Johns Marsh State Wildlife Area. The project will replace an existing pump, allowing for adequate water and improved coastal wetland habitat management under fluctuating Great Lakes water levels.
For a complete report of 2018 activities, and look into what’s planned for 2019 and beyond, view the Michigan Conservation Report.