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May is American Wetlands Month - Kiss a Frog!

Paul Bohn, Esq.

American Wetlands Month was created in 1991 by the EPA with the purpose of celebrating the importance of wetlands to the Nation's ecological, economic, and social health. On top of that, it was created as a way to educate individuals on the value of wetlands and the need to preserve them.

In Michigan, wetlands are a significant factor in the health and existence of other natural resources in the state. This includes lakes (including the Great Lakes,) ground water, wildlife, and more.

These wetlands remove toxic substances, sediment, and excess nutrients from the water that flows through them, improving the water quality in communities. Also, wetlands can protect from flooding by retaining excess rain and river water.

Unfortunately, only around half of Michigan's original wetlands have been drained or filled; showing how important protecting the remaining half is to Michigan's economy, recreation, tourism, and natural resources.

To advocate for wetland preservation, we encourage individuals to learn more about wetlands and their importance to the environment. People can learn about what a wetland is, as well as where they can be found and their importance through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality website (http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135-3313_3687---,00.html .)

Also, the EPA suggests that individuals explore a nearby wetland. There are wetlands in all 50 states but are extremely prominent in Michigan, so finding one should not be an issue.

If you choose to participate, there are studies, samplings, and restoration projects that are conducted in wetlands throughout the United States. Go to the EPA's website at https://www.epa.gov/wetlands/american-wetlands-month-events to find an event near you.

Happy American Wetlands Month!

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