Why Is This Preserve Significant?
Erie Marsh represents 11% of the remaining marshland in southeastern Michigan and is one of the largest marshes on Lake Erie. Located on North Maumee Bay, Erie Marsh Preserve supports numerous animals and plants that would otherwise be hard-pressed to find suitable habitat. This sprawling preserve plays a huge role as a migratory and nesting area for shorebirds, waterfowl, landbirds and, in the fall, raptors.
In 2011, TNC implemented a multi-year project to restore 946 acres of highly degraded coastal wetlands at Erie Marsh. This connectd the marsh to Lake Erie providing access to key spawning areas for fish, controlling invasive species (most notably, Phragmites) and improving the overall quality of the wetland.
What Can I See Here?
No matter the time of year, Erie Marsh Preserve is a birding hotspot. As you walk along the pathways dividing the different wetland areas, you are likely to see a number of ducks, shorebirds, songbirds, or a great egret, great blue heron or black-crowned night heron. Every spring and fall, Erie Marsh serves as important nesting and stopover habitat for thousands of migratory birds to rest and feed. In the fall, bald eagles commonly breed here. At more than 2,200 acres, the preserve also harbors some of Michigan’s few remaining colonies of American lotus and swamp rose-mallow, both listed as state-threatened, as well as the threatened eastern fox snake.