Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are restoring the habitat quality and aquatic connectivity of former emergent wetlands adjacent to the Shiawassee River at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. This acreage was previously converted for agricultural production, and the project is restoring wetland functions and values by restoring hydrology and re-establishing an aquatic connection between the wetlands and the Saginaw River. Goals of this grant include providing fish and other aquatic organisms with access to a large, restored wetland complex, and providing important habitat for many species of waterfowl, shorebirds and other wildlife. In addition, the project will contribute to the delisting of at least three Beneficial Use Impairments associated with the Saginaw River/Bay Area of Concern and will have significant public education and outreach benefits due to its location directly adjacent to a new auto tour route at the refuge.
“This restoration has two important impacts,” said Dane Cramer, regional biologist with Ducks Unlimited in Michigan. “The restored floodplain itself will provide migration habitat for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species, and it will also improve water quality in the Flint River as it moves downstream, eventually to the Saginaw Bay. Outdoor enthusiasts in the area will enjoy better recreation opportunities, too.”