Wetlands are very important natural features. They function as natural filters as well as habitat. Wetlands filter water and clean it before it runs either into the ground or into the streams or lakes. Wetlands also are habitat for some plants and animals that can only be found in an ecosystem like this. They are very important in maintaining biodiversity. Wetlands are one of the most biologically productive ecosystems in the world and make a very good educational resource. They are also good for hunting and fishing.
Click here for an article that will give you more information about why wetlands are so important and need to be protected and preserved .
Why Are Wetlands Important?
Wetlands are a very important and valuable resource that provide habitat to many plants and animals. They also act as a filter for surface and groundwater. Wetlands also are barriers to erosion that reduce the amount of silt running into lakes and rivers and maintaining water quality. They provide protection against the effects of drought and flooding and store stormwater and release it slowly. Wetlands are one of the most biologically productive ecosystems in the world and make a very good educational resource. They are also good for hunting and fishing.
What Are The Threats To Wetlands?
Since wetlands are small and fragile ecosystems that are sensitive to minor changes, either internally or externally, there are many things that can threaten a wetland. The threats include contamination of groundwater, dredging, exotic and nuisance species, filling, landscape modification, pollution, recreational overuse, siltation, and stormwater runoff.
Contamination of groundwater can come from a leak in a septic system, buried garbage, over fertilization of yards or chemicals leaching into the groundwater. Siltation can be caused by excessive erosion running into the wetlands. Dredging, or removing plants and soil, in and around wetlands is threatening because it harms the habitat and removes animals, as well as loosening the soil and decreasing the efficiency of the wetlands, thus, allowing for more siltation/erosion. Stormwater runoff is dangerous because it carries pollution, brings warm water to wetland waters and increases the volume.
What You Can Do?
Since over 3/4 of the state's wetlands are privately owned; landowners play a crucial role in protecting and preserving wetlands. Things that you can do are:
- Get to know the state and local laws regarding wetlands.
- Become aware of the activities that can affect wetlands.
- Reduce the amount of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides you use on your yard.
- Instead of grass, grow native vegetation and allow it to grow. If you must have grass, keep it no shorter than 3 inches long. The length of the grass on top represents the length of the roots below. This will allow water go get through and, if you have longer grass, you will have fewer weeds because there will be no room for them to take root.
- Consider the way nature works as the most effective model when planning how you are going to use your land.
- Prevent runoff from your property
- Properly dispose of wastes. There are places you can take hazardous wastes, the rest can either be recycled or thrown in the trash.
- Integrate Raingardens or rainbarrels into your landscape.
- Plant filter strips (aka. Swales) to intercept possible pollutants that runoff property wetlands and waterbodies.
- Contact the Cannon Township office for more information: Rteelander@cannontwp.org or 874-6966
Cannon Township has a Wetlands Ordinance.Please read the ordinance if you have, or if you think you have, wetlands on your property. If you want to dredge, fill or change your wetlands in any way, please contact the Township office before you begin your activity to see if you need a wetlands permit.
Click the following link for the Cannon Township Wetlands Permit application. This application is the same as the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's wetland permit application. Print out a hard copy of the application,fill it in and bring to Cannon Township Center.Do not fill it out online. http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135-3307_29692_24403---,00.html
Map of Township Wetlands
A better picture can be made available by visiting the township office.