Over the past 50 years, more than 97% of the coastal wetlands on the Detroit River have been destroyed by shoreline development. Although the remaining marsh has been recognized as globally unique in the habitat it provides for fish and wildlife, this land was threatened with development for years and was involved in a complicated court proceeding. TPL acquired the marsh and worked to develop a long-term conservation solution by raising funds to pay for the purchase and cleaning up the property. In September 2004, Humbug Marsh was transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.
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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3 million acres and completed more than 5,200 park and conservation projects.