A new reports finds Great Lakes wetlands at risk, due to gaps in state and federal Policy. And George Meyer with the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation says Wisconsin is not immune to the problems, despite having some of the best wetlands regulations in the Great Lakes region.
"There are significant gaps in wetlands protection in the state of Wisconsin," says Meyer. "Wetland drainages can be done relatively easily in the state, especially for agricultural purposes, and that has led to significant losses in the state."
Meyer says the Department of Natural Resources is also hamstrung when it comes to wetlands protection, because of lack of staff and weak powers of enforcement. But he says lawmakers may act to change that.
The report examines state wetland policies in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota. It assesses how well each state is protecting wetlands, which the report calls "the kidneys of the Great Lakes," identifies the barriers to better protection, and offers recommendations for improvement.