Protecting Saginaw Bay


The Nature Conservancy’s protection and restoration work in the Saginaw Bay Watershed is built on partnerships and collaboration. In order to achieve the ultimate goal of providing access to high-quality reproductive and migratory habitat for fish and birds, we collaborate with and assist the United States Fish & Wildlife Service, and other public and private partners, to identify and protect those vital pieces of habitat.

Our primary partner in this area is the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR). The SNWR was established in 1953 and contains more than 9,800 acres of marsh, bottomland hardwood forest, and grasslands. The refuge’s mission is to preserve and manage an undeveloped expanse of floodplain forest, marshes, rivers, and associated habitat within an agricultural and urban landscape through habitat management, encouraging public stewardship, educational programs, and private land activities.

In 2014, The Nature Conservancy transferred a 135-acre tract of wetlands and river shoreline, formerly the Germania Town & Country Club, to the SNWR. The Conservancy’s acquisition of this land was made possible through the generous support and partnership of the Dow Chemical Company. The project protected almost half a mile on the Tittabawassee River just west of the confluence of the Tittabawassee River and Shiawassee Rivers, providing important wetlands habitat for the eastern fox snake and migratory birds. It also provides recreational access to the local residents of and visitors to Saginaw for hiking, bird-watching and nature study.


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