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Managing Michigan's Wetlands

Wetlands – areas where land and water meet, sometimes called swamps, bogs or marshes – are a vital Michigan resource. They provide habitat for wildlife and recreation opportunities for hunters, birdwatchers and others. They also play an important role in the health of Michigan’s environment, improving water quality by filtering out pollutants and excess nutrients, replenishing surface and underground drinking water sources, and helping to control flooding by soaking up extra rain water.

Learn more about the importance of wetlands to Michigan’s wildlife, environment and citizens.

About half of Michigan’s wetlands have been drained and filled since the early 1800s. We, along with many other organizations, are working to conserve and restore our state’s wetlands – one way is through wetland mitigation banking.


The overall goal of wetland mitigation is to ensure that there is no net loss of wetlands. Wetland mitigation banks are established in an effort to restore wetlands as a way to replace the physical, chemical and biological wetland functions that are being lost.

We have partnered with the Michigan Municipal Wetland Alliance on a new wetland mitigation banking program that will preserve and restore wetland habitat on public lands to offset unavoidable impacts to existing wetlands. This public-private partnership will:

  • encourage long-term sustainability by creating wetland mitigation banks with high water quality and high-functioning ecosystems;
  • enhance outdoor recreation on state-managed land; and
  • make compliance with wetland mitigation requirements less complicated, less expensive and less time-consuming for Michigan municipalities, agricultural producers and blueberry growers. 

These efforts will start with wetland restoration projects at four state game areas:

  • Allegan State Game Area (Allegan County)
  • Grand River State Game Area (Ionia County)
  • Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area (Gratiot County)
  • Petersburg State Game Area (Monroe County)

Wetlands and Recreation

Wetlands and Recreation

Restoring wetlands on public land enhances recreation opportunities for hunters, wildlife watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors. Explore the possibilities of Michigan’s wetlands.

Managed Waterfowl Hunt Areas (Wetland Wonders)

These seven premier managed waterfowl hunt areas in the state, scattered across the southern Lower Peninsula, provide habitat for waterfowl and other species of wetland wildlife and abundant recreation opportunities for both hunters and nonhunters.


Shows lands open to public hunting and contains up-to-date information to help you plan your next hunting or other outdoor recreation trip – including ground cover types, nearby recreational facilities, trails and more.

Michigan has a system of publicly owned lands managed for wildlife habitat, wildlife watching and hunting. There are more than 100 units in the game and wildlife system covering more than 340,000 acres.