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National Wildlife Refuge

northern cardinal perched on log
6975 Mower Road
Saginaw, MI   48601
E-mail: shiawassee@fws.gov
Phone Number: 989-777-5930
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
More than 100 songbird species, including the northern cardinal, have been seen on the refuge.
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Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

All or portions of the refuge are closed due to flooding. Please contact the refuge before visiting.

Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge is located in central lower Michigan, approximately 25 miles south of Saginaw Bay. It was established in 1953 to provide habitat for migratory waterfowl.

Known locally as the "Shiawassee Flats," the refuge lies in the Saginaw Bay watershed, historically one of the largest and most productive wetland ecosystems in Michigan. Four rivers converge on the refuge - the Tittabawassee, Flint, Cass, and Shiawassee.

Getting There . . .
The refuge headquarters is 5 miles south of Saginaw. From I-75, take the Bridgeport exit and turn west onto Dixie Highway; go 1/2 mile. Turn left onto Fort Road, and go about 2 miles. Turn west onto Curtis Road, and go about 4 miles to refuge headquarters.

The Green Point Environmental Learning Center is in the southwest corner of Saginaw. From I-75, take the M-46 West/Holland Ave. exit, and go 5 miles. Turn left onto Michigan Avenue, and go 1 mile. Turn left onto Maple Street, and go 1/2 mile to the Center.

Get Google map and directions to this refuge/WMD from a specified address:

Your full starting address AND town and state OR zip code

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NOTE: When using this feature, you will be leaving the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service domain. We do not control the content or policies of the site you are about to visit. You should always check site policies before providing personal information or reusing content.

These driving directions are provided as a general guide only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content, road conditions or route usability or expeditiousness. User assumes all risk of use.

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Wildlife and Habitat

Refuge habitats include riparian, floodplain/bottomland hardwood forests, and emergent marshes, as well as shallow managed wetlands and croplands.

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Over 10,000 years ago, much of east-central Michigan, including the present-day refuge, was covered by a large, glacial lake. Evidence of this lakebed can still be seen in the flat terrain of the area, hence the local name of "The Flats."

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Management Activities
Refuge staff oversee a diverse management program that includes water level management, controlled burning, hunting, bird banding, timber cutting, and tree planting. Two of the more complex activities are farming and mosquito control. The refuge is authorized to expand its present boundaries by 7,500 acres along the Tittabawassee, Shiawassee, and Cass rivers from willing sellers.

Refuge staff oversee more than 100 conservation easements on private property, totaling more than 5,000 acres in 45 counties in central and southern Michigan. The refuge also assists landowners in a 22-county area with wetland restorations. Most of these restorations occur in Sanilac and Lapeer Counties, located in the "thumb" area of Michigan.

Shiawassee Refuge is responsible for managing a portion of the Michigan Islands Refuge within Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay, including Thunder Bay, Scarecrow, and the Charity Islands.