Wetlands cover about 15 percent of Michigan. They are ecologically and economically valuable to the State. Wetlands provide shoreline protection as well as temporary flood storage. Wetlands protect water quality by removing excess nutrients and sediments from surface and ground water. Michigan's wetlands, such as Tobico Marsh shown in figure 1, provide important wildlife habitat and have a significant role in maintaining a high level of biological diversity. Most freshwater fish depend on wetlands at some stage in their life cycle. Birds use wetlands as migratory resting places, for breeding and feeding grounds, and as cover from predators. Wetlands, such as those in Seney National Wildlife Refuge, are a preferred habitat for muskrat, beaver, otter, mink, and raccoon. Some rare or threatened animals rely on wetlands, and 91 of 238 plant species listed as threatened or endangered by the State grow in wetland habitats (Cwikiel, 1992). Wetlands benefit the State's tourist and outdoor recreation industries by providing opportunities for activities such as hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, canoeing, birdwatching, nature photography, and viewing wildflowers. Blueberries and wild rice are produced commercially in Michigan wetlands. In the early 1980's, Michigan was one of five States that together produced 75 percent of the peat mined in the United States.
Lynch, E.A., and Waldron, M.C., 1996, Michigan wetland resources, in National Water Summary on Wetland Resources: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 2425, p. 231 - 236.
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