Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Coastal and Inland Wetlands in the State of Michigan

The Association of State Wetland Managers developed this white paper on climate change projections and adaptation recommendations for Michigan wetlands for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The report describes the natural capital offered by wetlands through ecological services, details the climate change impacts on these services, and offers strategies to use wetlands as tools for climate mitigation and adaptation.

Climate model predictions for the Great Lakes region demonstrate that climate change will have a significant impact on water resources including the Great Lakes, rivers, streams, lakes, groundwater and inland and coastal wetlands.

ASWM has found that climate adaptation strategies to protect and conserve wetlands can provide ecosystem services that have high economic and social value. Wetlands perform many important ecosystem services that help to reduce climate impacts on the state’s water supply, wildlife and fishery resources, agriculture, forests and coastal infrastructure. The report  provides an analysis of some of these ecological services provided by wetlands in Michigan, and gives an analysis of how they can be impacted by climate change, including:

  • Fisheries production
  • Waterfowl production
  • Habitat for rare and endangered species
  • Food chain support
  • Water quality buffering and pollution control
  • Wave attenuation and erosion control
  • Production of forestry products and natural crops
  • Flood conveyance and flood storage
  • Carbon storage and sequestering
  • Groundwater recharge

ASWM developed strategic recommendations for wetland restoration, management and protection to provide ecosystem services, and for mitigating the impacts of climate change. These are detailed to represent an adaptation planning process for Michigan’s wetlands. The recommendations are organized under five categories:

    1. Advance Strategic Planning
    2. Monitoring and Assessment,
    3. Voluntary Restoration, Conservation and Management
    4. Regulations and
    5. Integration with Other Water Programs for Watershed Management.

The last four are further subdivided into a) General recommendations, b) Coastal Great Lake Wetlands and c) Inland Wetlands.


Publication Date: September 2012

Related Organizations:

  • Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM)
  • Michigan Department of Environmental Quality


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Adaptation plan
  • Assessment

States Affected:


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