State Rep. Joe Bellino of Monroe was recently recognized by Ducks Unlimited as the group’s Legislator of the Year.
Bellino, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, was honored alongside committee chairman Rep. Gary Howell last week for their work to establish a voluntary wetland restoration program in Michigan.
“Right now, community organizations such as Ducks Unlimited that are dedicated to restoring wetlands in Michigan are treated no differently than people with plans to develop property and disrupt wetlands,” Bellino said. “Our plan would remove the obstacles and establish a policy that encourages – rather than prohibits – good stewardship of Michigan’s natural resources.”
The plan laid out in House Bills 5854 and 5855 establishes a voluntary wetland restoration permit process that allows the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to better consider the effects of a proposed project as it relates to the health of the entire ecosystem.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Ducks Unlimited to develop a smart solution that will help restore more wetlands and benefit all of our fish and wildlife population,” Bellino said. “I’m honored to receive this award.”