Ramsar Designation - Humbug Marsh

A "Wetland of International Importance"
Interpretive viewpoint overlooking river at Humbug Marsh Unit

What is the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands?

The Ramsar Convention (Convention) on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty that was adopted in 1971 in Ramsar, Iran. The Convention provides a framework for international action and cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands. There are presently 158 contracting parties to the Convention. The United States became a member in 1987. Contracting Parties seek to achieve the Convention's goals by recognizing that wetlands are extremely important for biodiversity and human health, and by promoting local, regional and national stewardship and cooperation.

Learn more about the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.  

What is the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance?

Each country that signs the Convention must designate at least one site for inclusion in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar List). Sites are designated based on their international significance in terms of ecology, hydrology, and/or biological communities, as measured by criteria set forth by the Convention. The Convention does not have regulatory authority. Rather, designating a Ramsar Site expresses the contracting party's commitment to ensure maintenance of the ecological character of the site. Once a country signs on to the Convention, its national government is responsible for designating sites to be added to the list. In the U.S., the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) makes designation recommendations. The Ramsar List currently includes 2,065 wetland sites worldwide, which cover more than 486 million acres. Thirty-four of those sites are in the United States. Humbug Marsh is the first Ramsar designation in Michigan.

Why Humbug Marsh? 

Click HERE to find out why Humbug Marsh has been declared Michigan's only "Wetland of International Importance". 

View the Humbug Marsh Ramsar Site Boundary Map.

Facts About Ramsar Designation - Humbug Marsh

More than 160 countries have joined the Ramsar Convention. 

There are a total of 34 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance in the United States.


Humbug Marsh is the only Ramsar designated site in the state of Michigan.


Hundreds of species depend on the habitat of Humbug Marsh for survival. See a list of them HERE.