410-Acre Humbug Marsh Acquired (MI)

DETROIT, Michigan, 9/30/2003 – The Trust for Public Land announced today the acquisition of Humbug Marsh, 410 acres of marsh and upland located along the Detroit River. The property was acquired on Monday as part of a bankruptcy proceeding involving a local development company, Made in Detroit. The bankruptcy court made the determination that the plan put forth by the unsecured creditors committee was in the best interest of the creditors and the public. The Trust for Public Land now owns the property and will work with city, county, state and federal governments to develop a long-term conservation solution.

“This is a great day for conservationists in Michigan,” said U.S. Congressman Dingell. “The Trust for Public Land deserves great credit and enormous praise for their tremendous efforts, and what they have done will be remembered for generations. The preservation of Humbug Marsh ranks as one of the greatest conservation successes in southeastern Michigan in the last 40 years.”

“The acquisition of Humbug Marsh is a major victory for the federal, state, and Downriver Detroit conservation partners who have worked so hard to secure protection of this critical marshland,” Governor Granholm said. “It is a true victory for Michigan’s precious resources, and an environmental legacy we can be proud to leave for our children, and their children to enjoy.”

“This is another step in achieving our goal to protect the Humbug Marsh and see it become part of the greater Detroit River protection effort,” said Cynthia Whiteford, Midwest Regional Director and Vice-President of the Trust for Public Land. “The vision to protect this land has evolved through a tremendous effort by many individuals and groups. Key support has come from Congressman John Dingell, the Greater Detroit American Heritage River Initiative and local grassroots efforts. This effort is another demonstration of how TPL is able to find solutions that work for difficult conservation problems.”

The Humbug Complex is made up of Humbug Island, Humbug Marsh, and adjacent undeveloped upland habitats. It includes 410 acres of unique fish and wildlife habitats in Gibraltar and Trenton, Michigan. Humbug Marsh represents the last mile of natural shoreline on the U.S. mainland of the Detroit River. Over 97% of the coastal wetlands in the river have been destroyed by shoreline development and nearly all of the coastal wetlands in western Lake Erie have disappeared during the past 50 years. Because they are home to such a high diversity of fish and wildlife, the marshes have been identified as globally unique and significant in biological diversity – nothing like this marsh exist anywhere outside the Great Lakes.

Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law to protect land for people as parks, greenways, and open space. TPL has protected over 1.3 million acres of land across the nation. In Michigan, TPL has acquired and conveyed over 55,000 acres and has assisted various communities throughout the state in their conservation efforts. Most recently, TPL has assisted several communities in Southeast Michigan acquire over 30 miles of dormant railroad property as part of the Southeast Michigan Millennium Greenway.