In the spring of 2008, Ducks Unlimited applied for a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant to protect, restore, and enhance more than 4,000 acres of vital upland and wetland habitat throughout Michigan's Saginaw Bay and Lake Erie watersheds. As part of this grant, DU helped the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy acquire and permanently protect 40 acres of wetland habitat at Mud Lake, adjacent to the 139-acre Sand Point Nature Preserve.
"The Mud Lake acquisition is a great example of seizing an opportunity to expand the amount of contiguous protected habitat through partnerships and public funding," said Ryan Boyer, conservation specialist at DU's Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office in Ann Arbor, Michigan. "We are already planning to expand the Sand Point preserve and protect more wetlands around Mud Lake through another NAWCA grant submitted last summer," Boyer said.
The protection of wetlands surrounding Mud Lake provides critical breeding, migration, and wintering habitat for migratory birds, fish, and other wildlife species. In addition, this work provides the public with recreational and education opportunities.