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Bills aim to fast-track wetland restoration

Wetland in Kalamazoo
Mark Brush
Michigan Radio
Wetland in Kalamazoo

The state Legislature is considering bills that would speed up wetland restoration in Michigan.

“Wetlands are nature’s answer to a lot of our societal woes that we’re facing right now,” says Gildo Tori, director of public policy for the Ducks Unlimited Great Lakes/Atlantic Region office. His group has been pushing for these new bills. He says the process for getting permits to restore degraded wetlands takes too long.

“We should be doing all we can to make it easier, quicker and more streamlined to get these wetlands back on the landscape,” he says.

The state House passed the bills (HB 5854 and 5855) earlier this summer.

“What these bills would do is create a brand new program within the DEQ that would establish a voluntary wetland restoration program,” says Tori.

Tori says his group is working with state agencies and the state Senate on the legislation over the summer.

The Department of Natural Resources directed us to the Department of Environmental Quality for comment, but the DEQ did not respond to our interview request.

Rebecca Williams is senior editor in the newsroom, where she edits stories and helps guide news coverage.
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