"Michigan Wetlands at Risk in Budget Crisis"

"LANSING -- Environmentalists fear that as many as a million acres of wetlands will fall victim to a confusing patchwork of local rules that will leave them vulnerable to destruction if money for Michigan's protection program dries up.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm wants to turn over monitoring of wetlands to the federal government, which 48 other states have done, as a way to save the state money. The change will cut $2 million annually, state officials say, from a budget that next year is facing a nearly $2 billion deficit.

'We have fabulous lakes and streams up here,' said Grenetta Thomassey, policy director with the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, an environmental advocacy group in Petoskey. 'And the reason why is because we have wetland resources that have been protected and remain intact.'"

Karen Bouffard reports for the Detroit News May 11, 2009.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009