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 the
Marsh Monitoring Program.

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Who are  
MMP volunteers,  
and what do they do?  

How do the  
amphibian surveys work? 

And what about  
the bird surveys? 

You mentioned habitat...?

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    Through the efforts of many dedicated and skilled volunteers who survey amphibians, marsh birds, or both, the Marsh Monitoring Program (MMP) contributes to the conservation of wetlands and wetland dependent wildlife in the Great Lakes region. The MMP was established by Bird Studies Canada and Environment Canada in 1994 and is intended to run well beyond the year 2000.  The program was designed to provide information on marsh bird and selected amphibian populations, and to contribute to our understanding of their habitat needs. Along with the essential role played by MMP volunteers, the program receives important support from Environment Canada,  the U.S. Great Lakes Protection Fund, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Great Lakes 2000 Cleanup Fund. 

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    Forty-three Areas of Concern (AOCs) around the Great Lakes have been identified as being stressed by pollutants, habitat loss, and habitat degradation and are in urgent need of rehabilitation.  Although the scarcity of historical information on amphibian and marsh bird populations can make many interpretations of AOC recovery difficult, the MMP provides baseline information to help measure the success of these rehabilitation efforts and may help in suggesting improvements to restoration techniques. 

    Although a special emphasis is placed on the monitoring of those Great Lakes coastal wetlands that are heavily polluted, information on marshes throughout the Great Lakes states and the province of Ontario is also very important to the success of the program. Over the long-term, information gathered by MMP volunteers can be used to track population trends of marsh birds, frogs and toads throughout the Great Lakes region.

 

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