SAGINAW, Michigan – Oct. 5, 2016 – Wildlife and outdoors enthusiasts have 1,250 additional acres of managed wetlands near Saginaw Bay thanks to a major Ducks Unlimited project completed at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge.
The Maankiki Marsh project at the refuge south of Saginaw was completed this summer. It converted agricultural land back into wetlands for the first time in nearly a century.
"This project epitomizes the work Ducks Unlimited can accomplish with our partners, to help make nature whole again," said David Brakhage, conservation director at Ducks Unlimited’s Great Lakes/Atlantic Region.
Ducks Unlimited, supporters and conservation partners gathered Oct. 4, at the refuge to celebrate the project’s completion. Event participants opened newly installed flood gates to reconnect nearly two square miles of drained land back to the adjacent Shiawassee River.
"This land will be here for many years for us and future generations to enjoy," said Tom Melius, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region director.
The effort was funded in part by a $1.5 million National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – Sustain Our Great Lakes grant via the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a federal program designed to target the most significant problems in the Great Lakes ecosystem. Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network, Dow Chemical Company and Ducks Unlimited provided additional financial support.
Ducks Unlimited designed and oversaw construction which allows refuge managers to control water levels to benefit birds and fish. The Saginaw Bay area provides many ecological and social benefits, including habitat for other wetland-dependent fish and wildlife, flood control and abatement, water quality improvement and areas for outdoor recreation and education.
Click here to see a high-res photo gallery from the event.
Click here to watch a video of the live stream on the Ducks Unlimited Michigan Facebook page.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13.8 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.