|Title||Wetland values: benefits of wetland preservation in Michigan|
|Year of Publication||1985|
|Institution||Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council|
Wetlands provide Michigan and it's residents with important benefits which need to be considered in sound land managment decisions. Wetlands improve water quality by retaining polluting nutrients, such as phosphorous and nitrogen, that stimulate algal growth in lakes, rivers, and streams. In addition, toxic heavy metals and complex organic chemicals are stored or degraded in wetland ecosystems. Hydrologically, wetlands limit peak flood flows and provide sites for groundwater recharge and discharge. Recharge sites resupply our valuable groundwater and discharge sites provide high quality water for our surface waters. Wetland plants prevent shoreline erosion and trap sediments from eroding upland sites that pollute and fill our waterways. The variety of wetland habitats in Michigan support a significant portion of our states wildlife. Fish spawn, feed and hide in marshes and aquatic plant beds. Waterfowl, deer, and other game species forage, reproduce, and find shelter in wetland habitats. Many endangered and threatened species are dependent on these habitats for survival. In the state of Michigan, 8 million acres of marshes, fens, bogs, swamps, and wet meadows have been drained or filled. The information in this report justifies strong wetland protection programs to help insure that more irreplaceable wetlands are not destroyed.