How is Michigan keeping wetlands, habitats protected?

Here's everything you need to know about Ducks Unlimited.

This article is sponsored by the Michigan Wildlife Council.

Are you familiar with the Pointe Mouillee State Game Area? It just might be one of the vastest wildlife areas you’ve never heard of.

And that’s impressive, considering that 50 years ago, the area was nothing but open water.

But there has been tremendous work done over the years by many organizations to make Pointe Mouillee the great wildlife area it is today.

Let’s rewind -- and we’ll tell you more about why you should care.

Pointe Mouillee is located in Rockwood, about 30 miles south of Detroit, and it’s recognized as one of the largest freshwater marsh restoration projects in North America, consisting of 4,040 acres.

Perhaps most notably, the area is one of Michigan’s seven Wetland Wonders, which are premiere locations managed as waterfowl hunt areas.

The state game area sits in the Mississippi flyway, near the western edge of the Atlantic flyway, meaning hundreds of thousands of waterfowl frequent this area during migration season.

Depending on the season, you may see marsh birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors and songbirds, pheasants, rabbits and deer.

Areas like these need to be conserved, experts with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said.

Pointe Mouillee provides a home for a large number of species, and it’s important to protect the animals that call this hotspot home.

The area is managed by the Michigan DNR, which receives its funding from hunting license fees and area use fees.

However, Pointe Mouillee is open for anyone to visit, use and enjoy most of the year.

There’s also a group dedicated to the conservation of wetland and upland habitats, which benefits both humans and wildlife.

That organization is Ducks Unlimited, an international nonprofit group. Its mission is to protect habitats and return them to their natural wetland state, whenever possible.

In Michigan, the work done by Ducks Unlimited to date has contributed to the restoration of more than 80,000 acres of wetlands. The group works in tandem with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to ensure wood ducks and other waterfowl have a bright future.

To learn more about Michigan’s successful wildlife conservation work, go the Michigan Wildlife Council’s website.