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Tue March 17, 2009
Enviros: Keep Michigan wetlands program
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
Lansing, MI – LANSING, Mi (MPRN) - Environmental groups are preparing to battle Governor Granholm's proposal to scrap Michigan's wetlands protection program and turn it over to the federal government. They will meet at the state Capitol today to make their case to lawmakers.
Michigan is one of just two states to issue its own permits for developing on or near a marsh or stream.
But Governor Granholm and state environmental officials say Michigan can no longer afford its own program. They say it's already under-funded, and now there's a budget crisis.
But environmentalists like Cyndi Roper of Clean Water Action say that will have a big impact in a state that's surrounded by water. Roper says state regulators are better equipped than the US Army Corps of Engineers to look out for Michigan's wetlands.
The state program costs between $3-$4 million dollars per year.