Learn how to preserve your wetlands and our future

Cass and St. Joe Counties have collectively lost more than 50 percent of their wetlands since the earliest Europeans settled this area, according to the chair of the Fabius Township Wetlands Committee.

Southwest Michigan's regional conservation organizations are joining efforts to let area landowners and others know about available tools, programs, and financial incentives to protect River Country’s remaining wetlands and restore some of those that have been lost.

"River Country Riches: Landowner Incentives to Preserve Private Wetlands for Regional Benefit," a forum focused on strategies to protect and restore significant wetland areas in partnership with private landowners will take place at 6:30 pm, Tuesday, Sept. 24, at Camp Eberhart’s Klinger Dining Hall on Corey Lake, near Three Rivers.

The forum is geared primarily toward landowners who have current or historic wetlands on their property, but will include useful information for public officials and anyone who is interested in learning more about resources available to conserve or restore wetlands.      

"The influence of water in our region is undeniable, and healthy fisheries and natural areas are a part of our River Country heritage," says Vic Eichler, chair of the Fabius Township Wetlands Committee. "The objective of the forum is to provide information and assistance to interested landowners to aid in the protection and restoration of area wetlands."

The push to conserve regional wetland resources was initiated by an EPA grant-funded study. The results of the study are available to local planners, conservation organizations, and drain officials to use in their daily work.

"The overarching goal is to conserve our most sensitive land and water resources, understanding the numerous functions they serve to mitigate storm events, store floodwaters, and filter polluted runoff, among others," says Geoffrey Cripe, land protection specialist with project partner Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy.

For more information and directions to Camp Eberhart, please visit here or call Geoffrey Cripe with the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy at (269) 324-1600.

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Pamela W. Larson, Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy
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