Ducks Unlimited Receives $1.5 Million For Shiawassee

Ducks Unlimited Receives $1.5 Million For Shiawassee
Funding received for restoration work in Saginaw Bay Watershed.

Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge
Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge
Ducks Unlimited
Ducks Unlimited

Ann Arbor, Mich. –-( A $1.5 million grant will make an impressive impact on conservation in the Saginaw Bay region of Michigan with the help of Ducks Unlimited.

DU has been awarded funds to restore emergent wetlands to 940 acres of land currently in agricultural use at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge.

The $1.5 million grant was formally awarded by Sustain Our Great Lakes at a ceremony that took place at Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge in Trenton, Mich. on Friday. SOGL awarded the funds through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the federal program designed to target the most significant problems in the Great Lakes ecosystem, including habitat conservation, invasive aquatic species, non-point source pollution and contaminated sediment.

The project lies within the Shiawassee Flats, a 40,000-acre floodplain wetland complex formed by the confluence of the Bad, Cass, Flint, Shiawassee, and Tittabawassee Rivers. The Flats include a diversity of natural and managed wetlands that have historically been a critical waterfowl and waterbird stopover area in the Great Lakes region. The Flats also provide many additional ecological and societal benefits, including habitat for other wetland-dependent fish and wildlife, flood control and abatement, water quality improvement, and areas for outdoor-based recreation and education.

This restoration has two important impacts. The restored wetlands will provide a key connection between other restored wetlands and the Shiawassee River, providing valuable habitat for fish, waterfowl, and other wetland-dependant species. It will also improve water quality as it moves downstream towards the Saginaw Bay.

Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network and Dow Chemical Company provided financial support. DU also received letters of support from several sources including U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Geological Survey, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Saginaw Bay WIN, and the Shiawassee Flats Citizens and Hunters Association. The grant was awarded through the Sustain Our Great Lakes, whose mission is to sustain, restore, and protect fish, wildlife, and habitat in the Great Lakes basin by leveraging funding, building conservation capacity, and focusing partners and resources toward key ecological issues.

“Restorations of this magnitude are difficult to come by not only in the Saginaw Bay watershed, but anywhere in the Great Lakes basin,” said Dane Cramer, regional biologist at DU’s Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office. “This project will make appreciable impacts to the thousands of waterfowl that migrate through Saginaw Bay and the Shiawassee Flats area every spring and autumn as well as important fish species and other wetland denizens.”

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with more than 12 million acres conserved. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands − nature’s most productive ecosystem − and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.

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