Erb Family Foundation and DU Improve Great Lakes Wetlands Policy

Conservation organizations now face fewer permitting obstacles when it comes to putting wetlands back on the landscape in Michigan and improving water quality in Lake Erie

© Michael Furtman

Thanks to the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, the Michigan Legislature, and Ducks Unlimited, conservation organizations now face fewer permitting obstacles when it comes to putting wetlands back on the landscape in Michigan and improving water quality in Lake Erie. In late 2018, DU’s public policy team helped pass new wetland restoration permitting laws in Michigan to provide a transparent process for agencies, organizations, and individuals to voluntarily restore vital wetland habitat. The legislation simplifies regulations and reduces costs and time delays.

Once the legislation took effect, the Erb Family Foundation stepped up with a $100,000 commitment to help DU and the state create an effective process to administer the new permits. The partnership will also help train conservation organizations about the permitting process.

The Erb Family Foundation and Ducks Unlimited are committed to restoring the Great Lakes ecosystem by providing high-quality wildlife habitat and improved water quality for the region. DU will apply for one permit for a new wetland restoration project this year and use that experience to talk with corporations about how these new laws are helping to more efficiently use supporters’ gifts for wetland restoration projects.

“We are happy to support Ducks Unlimited in its work to restore wetlands in Michigan,” says Neil Hawkins, president of the Erb Family Foundation. “This grant will accelerate the restoration of wetlands, especially in southeast Michigan, which has lost over 80 percent of these important habitats.”