Protect Michigan's Wetlands, Lakes, and Streams

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SB 1211, introduced by Senator Tom Casperson, removes vital protections from half a million acres of Michigan wetlands and more than 4,000 inland lakes.

According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), this bill strips away regulation from 70,000 wetlands and more than a 1/3 of Michigan inland lakes, allowing them to be filled, dredged, and constructed on without a permit. 

Send your state representatives an email today telling them to vote no on SB 1211

This bill completely overhauls how Michigan’s wetlands, inland lakes and streams are regulated by the DEQ. Fundamentally, this bill diminishes the ability for the state to protect the endangered and threatened species that live in these areas, strips regulatory protections away from wetlands and smaller water bodies that are essential for outdoor recreation, and weakens the ability to manage stormwater events and deal with local flooding. 


The importance of wetlands and inland lakes in Michigan cannot be understated. Wetlands provide shoreline protection, temporary flood storage, the removal of excess nutrients and sediments from ground and surface water, and play a significant role in maintaining a high level of biological diversity. They also bolster our state’s outdoor recreational industry with activities like hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, canoeing, birdwatching and more.

Currently, Michigan is one of two states with delegated authority from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to administer the Clean Water Act and protect these precious natural resources. Michigan’s program is already noncompliant with federal standards, and SB 1211 will only exacerbate this. This will result in increased degradation of our water quality and the elimination of lakes and wetlands vital for Michigan's ecological health and outdoor recreation. We should be working to fix our program and protect these vital ecosystems, rather than passing legislation to make it worse. 

Photo by Emma Hall on Unsplash

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