Tittabawassee River Natural Resource Damage Assessment Bay City Ecological Restoration Project
Restores hundreds of acres and improves public access

Tittabawassee River Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Overview

On July 27, 2020, a settlement with the Dow Chemical Company to address federal, state, and tribal claims for natural resource damages in the Tittabawassee River System was finalized. The settlement is for an estimated $77 million in projects and funding that will restore fish, wildlife, and habitats injured following releases of hazardous substances in past decades from Dow’s manufacturing facility in Midland, Michigan. Under the settlement, Dow will implement or fund a number of restoration projects identified in Midland, Bay, Saginaw, and nearby counties.  The natural resource Trustees evaluated a range of restoration actions and alternatives which would provide benefits to natural resources to compensate the public for losses to natural resources injured by releases from Dow's Midland plant and published the Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Tittabawassee River System.

Bay City Ecological Restoration Project

The Bay City Ecological Restoration Project will preserve and restore, where feasible, wetland, native upland, and rare lake plain prairie habitats on approximately 415 acres of Dow-owned land in Bay City near the Saginaw River’s outlet to Saginaw Bay, and increase opportunities for recreational activities. Specifically, the project includes: 

  • Preserving the property through a conservation easement conservation easement
    A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a government agency or qualified conservation organization that restricts the type and amount of development that may take place on a property in the future. Conservation easements aim to protect habitat for birds, fish and other wildlife by limiting residential, industrial or commercial development. Contracts may prohibit alteration of the natural topography, conversion of native grassland to cropland, drainage of wetland and establishment of game farms. Easement land remains in private ownership.

    Learn more about conservation easement
  • Converting approximately 245 acres of existing agricultural property to restored habitat; and
  • Creating 3 to 5 miles of trails, informational signage, 2 or 3 fishing platforms on the Saginaw River, and public access parking.   

This project is immediately adjacent to other projects: the Saginaw River Mouth Boating Access Site, BaySail Environmental Education Center, and the Rear Range Lighthouse Renovation.

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