Wetlands a vital resource for Michigan’s wildlife

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

When thinking about Michigan’s important, valuable landscapes, many of us first think of the Great Lakes, northern forests and sandy beaches. Wetlands might not immediately come to mind.

They certainly didn’t for early Michigan settlers, who were less than impressed with the state’s abundance of swamps and marshes – more than 10 million acres of wetlands before European settlement.

Michigan Waterfowl Youth Hunt, Point Mouille

Waterfowl Youth Hunt, Point Mouille

 

 

 

 

 

 

The banks of the Detroit River are handsome, but nine-tenths of the land in the Territory is unfit for cultivation,” said General Duncan McArthur, stationed at Fort Detroit, in 1814.

The 1816 Tiffin Report by Edward Tiffin, surveyor general of the United States, had equally disparaging things to say about Michigan’s land and agricultural potential, including: “Michigan apparently consisted of swamps, lakes, and poor, sandy soil not worth the cost of surveying. Not more than one acre in a hundred, or perhaps a thousand, could be cultivated.”

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Santa Maria Found off Haiti?

Underwater explorer Barry Clifford said he found sunken off Haiti what he thinks is the wreck of Santa Maria, Christopher Columbus’ long lost flagship from his first journey to the Americas.

Clifford, working for an operation funded by the History Channel, claims he led a team that found and investigated the wreck in the exact area where Columbus said the Santa Maria ran aground more than 500 years ago on a reef off Haiti’s northern coast, 10 to 15 feet beneath the water’s surface

Clifford and his team used high tech sonar scanning and metal detection devices to examine the ship’s remains. Most of the ship is intact and excavation will be possible with assistance from the Haitian government, Clifford said.

In what could be one of the most important historical discoveries in history, Clifford said he is confident the wreck is the Santa Maria. It is now up to archeologists to study the wreck to determine if it is the Santa Maria.

Clifford’s crew photographed the wreck in 2003, and those pictures, along with data gathered by computer and other recent dives, have assured Clifford that the wreck is Columbus’.

The ship is the correct size (117 feet long), Clifford said, and stones found at the wreck site that match the type in Spain where the Santa Maria was built were found at the site, CNN reported.

The Santa Maria was the largest of Columbus’ small fleet that set sail from Spain in August 1492 under the sponsorship of King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I. The expedition sought a westward route from Europe to the resource-rich Far East, but instead landed in the Caribbean in October.

The Santa Maria ran aground in December off the coast of Haiti, and some of the wreck’s planks and provisions were used by fort. Columbus left much of the crew behind and sailed back to Spain in January 1493 with the two remaining ships, the Nina and the Pinta.

Clifford, who is well known for many sea discoveries, including salvaging historic pirate ships around the world, said he plans to go back to Haiti next month with santa mariaauthorities in hopes of determining the next steps.

Lake Erie Fishing Report Monroe, MI 07/24/2013

Fishing has been good all week between the Michigan and Ohio dump in
18 to 20 feet of water despite the oppressive heat. Wiggle warts,
little rippers, and thunder stick jrs have all taken fish. The best
lure colors seem to be any chrome colors with a few yellow and pink
painted baits thrown in. 70 to 90 feet back seem to be the best line
length. High divers set at 31/2 back 20 feet with pink color spoons
have also taken fish. Trolling speed ranges from 1.9 kts to 2.1 kts.
Be careful when fishing on or near the dumps, to
deep and your tackle is gone. East winds have changed the trolling
patterns so you will have to experiment with the angle of your troll
for the most consistent bite. The fish seem to bite all day with some
dry spells during midday. Fishing in the Ohio dump has been very
productive this past week, but make sure you have a valid Ohio fishing
license – the “boy’s” have been out checking the boarder and passing
out tickets like Halloween candy.