Grants: Wildlife Stewardship

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Lakeplain Prairie Restoration

Oct 1999

Project partners restored 25 acres of Lakeplain Prairie, a globally significant habitat type. The restorations occured on DNR land along the Bay. The DNR will maintain the restored prairie after restoration.

Tobico Marsh Birding Platform

May 1999

The Friends of the Bay City State Park requested funding to improve bird watching access in Tobico Marsh along the Andersen Trail. The area is popular among birders because it attracts a variety of birds for much of the year. In addition, thousands of school children visit the area each year. The platform will make it easier for all visitors to see birds and wildlife.

Nayanquing Point and Fish Point Shorebird Habitat Restoration

Oct 1998

DU partnered with the DNR to develop two shorebird habitat areas, one at the Nayanquing Point Wildlife Area and the other at Fish Point Wildlife Area. These areas provide critical habitat for shorebirds, waterfowl and other wetland wildlife, and serve as excellent viewing areas for birdwatchers. The shallow water habitat developed through this project will also benefit rails, moorhens, and wading birds. These new shorebird habitats are adjacent to existing wheel chair accessible observation towers and will provide high quality viewing areas.

Fish Point Wetland Restoration

Nov 1997

DU partnered with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to improve habitat for shore birds, tundra swans, and blue-winged teal by restoring wetland and prairie areas at the Fish Point Wildlife Area. The restoration included 15 acres of shallow water marsh, 40 acres of moist soil wetland and 9 acres of lake plain prairie. These birds are prized by bird watchers. The site is ideal for bird watching because adjacent parking areas serve it. A wheel-chair accessible blind on the site can be used for photography and barrier-free hunting. DU completed a substantial portion the restoration during the summer of 1998 and a public dedication was held in the Fall of 1998. DU installed the last water control structure in Spring 1999.

Regional Marketing (of watershed to bird watchers)

Nov 1997

This project was developed to improve awareness of birding opportunities in the Saginaw Bay Watershed, and to insure that the region receives its share of the $521 million spent on bird watching in Michigan each year. A regional birding brochure was developed and sent to members of the American Birders Association throughout the Great Lakes states and in Texas, was distributed to Michigan Welcome Centers, and provided to local convention and visitors’ bureaus and businesses that serve birders. WINmember Ron Weeks developed a website that promotes birding in the watershed. The address of the site is www.saginawbaybirding.org. The website is now maintained by an avid birder from Bay City. The final element of the marketing campaign is the development and placement of advertisements in key birding magazines. WIN’s new Marketing Task Group has developed and placed the advertisements in the spring, summer and winter 2000 issues of Bird Watchers Digest, Birder’s World and WildBird.

Birding Platforms

Oct 1997

This funding was provided to improve birding facilities in the watershed. Two new platforms were to be constructed and the existing platform at Nayanquing Point was to be improved. The improvements at Nayanquing Point were completed in 1998. The new platforms were to be located at the Crow Island State Game Area and in Tobico Marsh at the Bay City State Recreation Area. The Tobico Marsh platform is discussed below. The Birding Task Group encountered difficulties at Crow Island because of concerns raised by the Saginaw County Road Commission and by Consumers Energy Corporation due to road and utility right of ways. The Task Group received permission to use the $6,000 provided for the Crow Island platform for a platform at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. That platform was completed in the Winter of 1998.