Great Lakes Wetlands May Soon Go Unprotected

Great Lakes Wetlands May Soon Go Unprotected

Staci LeFurge is worried an inter-dual wetland, near where her now husband, Andy, proposed, may soon go unprotected if Governor Granholm’s plan to scrap Michigan’s wetlands program goes through. “The dunes all along Lake Michigan where we live are dotted with interdunal wetlands that are globally rare,” states Staci. “It is such a neat thing to hike to these wetlands and see things like carnivorous plants and tropical birds resting as they migrate through.” Stunning the environmental community, Governor Granholm announced in the State of the State Address a plan to return the wetland protection program to the federal government in an attempt to balance the budget. However, this plan would likely result in an estimated 930,856 acres of wetlands, representing approximately 17 percent of Michigan wetland resources, going unprotected. “These wetlands are working hard to keep our lakes and streams clean” states Grenetta Thomassey with Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council.” Thirtythree studies over the past 20 years have put an estimated value on wetlands of up to $22,050 per acre for flood control and water quality treatment. Getting rid of Michigan’s protections for these wetlands as a quick budget fix is shortsighted—we need fresh ideas to balance the budget while protecting Michigan’s waters and our Great Lakes way of life.”

Your help is needed more now than ever to save Michigan’s wetland protection program. Let them know:

 

  • Wetlands provide untold functions and values including flood control, water quality protection, shoreline stabilization, wildlife and fisheries habitat, ground water recharge, recreational opportunities, and education and research.
  • The state field offices are crucial to sensible wetland management because they know the local area.
  • Keep the program and refine it, if needed, but DO NOT get rid of Michigan’s wetlands program!

 

In addition to letting your state legislators know this is a bad idea, please contact the immediate decision makers on this proposal from the House of Representatives Appropriation’s Committee—a list of the committee members can be found on our website in our action alert section, http://freshwaterfuture.org\takeaction.

 

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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.