With nearly 8,700 square miles, the Saginaw Bay Watershed is home to 1.4 million people who rely on the watershed for recreation, irrigation, electrical power generation, industrial processes, flood control, and drinking water. The Saginaw Bay watershed is Michigan’s largest watershed, as well as the largest contiguous freshwater coastal wetland system in the United States. Spanning 22 counties, the watershed features more than 175 inland lakes and 7,000 miles of rivers and streams, which drain approximately 15 percent of the land base of the state. The watershed provides habitat for a rich diversity of fish and wildlife species. Coastal wetland extend along the shores of Saginaw Bay providing habitat for large populations of migratory birds, shorebirds, herpetofauna, and more than 90 fish species. This is a critical migratory stopover for over 250 bird species, of which over 200 species remain to breed in this resource rich and diverse region. There are over 138 species of endangered and threatened species in the watershed.
The Saginaw Bay Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA)
is working with partners throughout the watershed to address invasive phragmites and other invasive species. Partners such as Arenac Conservation District
, Bay County, Michigan Technological Research Institute
, private landowners, Saginaw Bay RC&D
and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service
are battling invasive species along the shoreline of the bay. In 2016 alone these partners are treating over 500 acres of coastal wetlands. Other partners such as Cass River Greenway
, Chippewa Nature Center
, Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy
, Saginaw County Road Commission
, The Little Forks Conservancy
, and Tuscola County Road Commission
are managing invasive phragmites further up in the watershed. It will take a combined effort of all of these partners to make a difference in the battle against invasive phragmites. Also there are partners doing invasive phragmites research such at Michigan Technological Research Institute
, Michigan Natural Features Inventory
, and Saginaw Valley State University
. Add hyperlink to MI Invasive Species Coalition Forum?