Protecting Millerīs Marsh
During the past eight years, the Beaver Island Natural Areas Committee has actively worked to protect scenic and natural areas around Beaver Island, including Little Sand Bay, Barneyīs Lake, and the Barrett conservation easement to name a few. This past summer, after years of effort, the unprotected Northern half of Little Sand Bay was approved for purchase by the State. When combined with other public land, this creates more than a mile of protected Lake Michigan shoreline in Little Sand Bay.
Last year the Little Traverse Conservancy signed a land contract to purchase the 230-acre Millerīs Marsh to preserve and protect it from development. Millerīs Marsh is the largest and most diverse true marsh found on the Island. Significantly contributing to the diversity of this wetland is its combination of open shallow water, its extensive sedge (to the west), and sphagum mats (to the east) surrounded by a vast mature second growth beech-maple forest. The marsh is biologically unique since it is the only site on Beaver Island where blue-green algae can be found. Millerīs Marsh is an ideal site for both aquatic and terrestrial biological research.
The immediate goal is to raise $188,000 for the purchase costs. Over $120,000 has already been raised; they are looking for the support of Island residents and visitors to continue the effort. Once the funds have been raised, the Conservancy will complete the purchase and transfer the ownership to the Central Michigan University for use as a living laboratory and public nature preserve.
To help preserve Millerīs Marsh, you may contact the Little Traverse Conservancy at 231.347.0991.
On the Island, you can also talk to Jim Gillingham or Marilyn Damstra, co-chairs of the Steering Committee.