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E-M:/ MUCC on Humbug Marsh



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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Date: Fri, 07 Aug 1998 13:31:13 -0700
From: MUCC <mucc@voyager.net>
Reply-To: mucc@voyager.net
Organization: Michigan United Conservation Clu
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To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Subject: Humbug Marsh and Island
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In the summer of 1997, MUCC members took a definitive stance on the
development 
of Humbug Marsh and Island. The resolution that was passed states that
MUCC "will 
pursue the denial of the construction permits for the Humbug Marsh
development 
and marina project from the Army Corp of Engineers, the Environmental
Protection 
Agency (EPA) and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
required for 
this project." 

Humbug Marsh along the Detroit River in Wayne County is a unique and
valuable 
habitat for fish and wildlife. It provides 3/4 miles of remnant Lakes
coastal 
marsh, of which 97% have been destroyed by shoreline development and
nearly all 
in western Lake Erie have disappeared during the past 50 years. The area
is nationally 
recognized as a walleye fishing hotspot each spring by thousands of
anglers. 
Juvenile lake sturgeon, a state endangered fish, are being caught for
the first 
time in decades a few miles from Humbug Marsh. The lower Detroit River,
including 
Humbug Marsh, is the most important spawning and nursery habitat in the
entire 
Detroit River and much of western Lake Erie. 

Humbug Marsh has also been an important area for duck hunting by local
sportsmen 
for generations. This area has been nominated by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife service 
as a focus area for enhancement and protection of fish and wildlife,
especially 
waterfowl. In addition, Bald Eagles and have been observed in the area
of Humbug 
Marsh and migratory birds use it as a stopping point in their migration
routes. 

Since that summer and well before, MUCC members statewide have taken an
interest 
in preserving this last-of-its-kind wetland. There have been articles in
magazines, 
action alerts, phone calls, faxes, emails, and petitions. While this has
been 
a long process, we are now heading into crunch time. 

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has deemed the Made In
Detroit 
(MinD) application to build in the wetland areas "administratively
complete," 
which means that it is now ready for public comment. Initially, the
Director 
of the DEQ, Russell Harding, was to decide the fate of the conservation
easement 
that now protects a portion of the proposed project. He is turning that
decision 
as well as the permit decision over for public comment. 

A public hearing will take place on September 15, 1998 at a time and
location 
to be announced. The public comment period will run to September 30,
1998. Comments 
are to be addressed to: 

                       Mr. Rich Powers 
                       Acting Chief 
                       Land and Water Management Division 
                       116 West Allegan 
                       Lansing, MI 48933. 

My request from individuals or organizations that are interested in
seeing this 
area remain in its natural condition is to make sure that a letter
reaches DEQ 
before September 30, and to mark your calendars for September 15 and
plan on 
attending the public hearing and voicing your concern at that time as
well. They 
are expecting enormous turnout and we don't want to disappoint them.
Linked to 
this website is the press release from DEQ, a list of reasons to deny
the permit, 
the permitting process flowchart, and criteria which the DEQ must use in
deciding 
to issue the permit. 

Please use reasons to deny the permit as talking points in your letter
and be 
sure to compare those with DEQ's criteria for denying a permit. 

                                                     
More Information is available on our website and at DEQ.

 Reasons for Saving the Marsh and Island
http://www.mucc.org/action_alerts/humbug_reasons.html

 DEQ's criteria for denying a permit
http://www.mucc.org/action_alerts/humbug_criteria.html

 DEQ Wetland Permitting Process
http://www.mucc.org/action_alerts/humbug_permit.html

 DEQ's Press Release
http://www.deq.state.mi.us/pr/980804.htm

 For letter writing tips, visit our "How to...Write a Letter to the
Editor" 
page.
http://www.mucc.org/legislation/editor.html

There is also a sign-on letter that is available for organizations.
For further information, please contact Holly Madill at mucc@mucc.org or
phone 
517-371-1041



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