The Michigan Department of Natural Resources
As part of the DNR’s Explore Michigan’s Wetland Wonders campaign, the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) has partnered with the DNR to hold a new contest for outdoor enthusiasts. Consumers Energy is graciously sponsoring this Wetland Wonders Challenge II.
Michigan’s Wetland Wonders Challenge II gives participants a chance to meet the coots, peepers, darners and other critters that depend on the state’s wetlands. This spring and summer, the DNR invites the public to visit Michigan’s Wetland Wonders to learn about their unique habitats and the wildlife that use them – and maybe even win a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Michigan’s Wetland Wonders are the seven premier managed waterfowl areas in the state: Fennville Farm Unit at the Allegan State Game Area, Fish Point State Wildlife Area, St. Clair Flats State Wildlife Area on Harsens Island, Muskegon County Wastewater Facility, Nayanquing Point State Wildlife Area, Pointe Mouillee State Game Area and Shiawassee River State Game Area. These areas, scattered across the southern Lower Peninsula, were created in the 1960s to provide exceptional waterfowl hunting opportunities, and they are still managed today to provide waterfowl habitat for nesting and migration and for the benefit of other wetland wildlife. Since the beginning, these areas have been funded by hunting license fees and fees from managed area use permits purchased by hunters, but they are open for anyone to visit, use and enjoy most of the year.
From now through Aug. 18, these sites will play host to the Wetland Wonders Challenge II, giving visitors the chance to explore, learn and win. To enter the Challenge, just attend one of the official Wetland Wonders Challenge II events and fill out an entry form. MUCC will draw seven winners in late August 2013 for seven ultimate explore Michigan prize packages containing unique adventures such as a Pictured Rocks scenic boat cruise, a VIP guided tour of the Detroit Zoo, a chartered fishing trip or a private sandhill crane viewing at a bird sanctuary.
“This contest invites the public to explore these areas during the spring and summer to experience great wildlife viewing, hiking, kayaking, birding, fishing, and other outdoor recreational opportunities,” said Barbara Avers, DNR waterfowl and wetlands specialist. “If you haven’t visited them before, the Wetland Wonders II events are the perfect opportunity to experience these unique and vital habitats.”
This Saturday is the next Wetland Wonders Challenge II event at the Muskegon County Wastewater Facility. Meet at 10 a.m. at the Muskegon State Game Area Office (7600 E. Messinger Road, Twin Lake) for an auto tour of some of the best birding in the Muskegon area. Staff at the game area and members of the Muskegon County Nature Club will share insights into the area’s natural history and help visitors find and identify locally breeding birds as well as the diversity of birds that migrate through the area annually.
Additional Wetland Wonders Challenge II events will take place throughout the spring and summer. For more information, please visit www.michigan.gov/
The Wetland Wonders Challenge II events help to promote the Michigan Waterfowl Legacy (MWL) and the “Year of the Duck.” The MWL is a 10-year, cooperative partnership to restore, conserve and celebrate Michigan’s waterfowl, wetlands and waterfowl hunting community. Throughout the year, numerous waterfowl- and wetland-related events will be held. For more information about MWL, please visit www.michigan.gov/mwl.