Michigan Budget Advances, Funding to Protect Wetlands Included

Attributable to Audubon Great Lakes’ Freshwater Policy Director, Brian Vigue

“Michigan has lost 50 percent of its historic wetlands – and with it, the incredible benefits wetlands provide to wildlife and communities. Last week, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Environment, Great Lakes and Energy passed a budget that includes funding to encourage local governments to restore and conserve wetlands and undertake other proactive strategies before flooding events occur.  

As climate change accelerates, flooding is expected to increase across Michigan. Among their amazing capabilities, wetlands store a tremendous amount of floodwater — slowly releasing it back into the environment — to help protect communities from flooding.  

Wetlands restoration is also important for wildlife. Loss of wetlands has contributed to a significant decline of Great Lakes populations of breeding marsh birds over the past 30 years. The Black Tern, a species that depends on our wetlands to nest and breed, is hanging on by a thread. Up to 99 percent of Michigan’s Black Tern population has been lost, according to the USGS Breeding Bird Survey.  

As the budget moves to the full Appropriations Committee for a vote, we urge the Michigan legislature to prioritize the protection of Michigan’s wetlands by keeping this important funding for wetlands restoration.”  


About Audubon Great Lakes 

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon Great Lakes is a regional office of Audubon, learn more at  

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