Pointe Mouillee State Game Area

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Pointe Mouillee State Game Area
Pointe Mouillee.jpg
Map showing the location of Pointe Mouillee State Game Area
Map showing the location of Pointe Mouillee State Game Area
Location within the state of Michigan
LocationBerlin and Brownstown charter townships, Monroe and Wayne counties, Michigan
Nearest cityRockwood, Michigan
Coordinates42°00′15″N 83°11′39″W / 42.00417°N 83.19417°W / 42.00417; -83.19417Coordinates: 42°00′15″N 83°11′39″W / 42.00417°N 83.19417°W / 42.00417; -83.19417
Area6.25 mi² (16.2 km²)
Governing bodyFlag of Michigan.svg Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Pointe Mouillee State Game Area (/ˈpɔɪnt mwˈj/ mwee-YAY) is a state game area located primarily in Berlin Charter Township in the northeasternmost corner of Monroe County, Michigan. It consists of 4,040 acres (16.3 km2) of coastal wetlands in Lake Erie near the mouth of the Huron River. The game area occupies only a tiny area of land on the other side of the Huron River in Wayne County, where its headquarters are located at 37205 Mouillee Road, Route 2 in Brownstown Charter Township. It is used for waterfowl hunting due to its heavy use by ducks and geese along the flyway across Lake Erie. The park is mostly utilized by bird watchers hiking or biking along the dikes or hunters in small boats. Many muskrats are taken yearly by trappers in the area. The Downriver area Catholics had a tradition of eating muskrat under a traditional exemption to the eating of meat during Lent.

The area was named by French fur traders in the 17th century. Mouillee is a most appropriate name for the place, as the word (mouillée) is the feminine form of mouillé, which means wet or moist.

In 1875, a group of wealthy local men bought about 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) and established the Pointe Mouillee Shooting Club, which employed punters and cooks to assist the duck hunters. In 1945, the state of Michigan bought 2,600 acres (11 km2) from the club to establish the state game area. It added more property to the park, including 130-acre (0.53 km2) Celeron Island. The barrier island washed away and the marsh was heavily damaged by erosion.

To protect the park and marsh, the Army Corps of Engineers built a new barrier island, from material dredged from harbors and shipping channels, which was considered contaminated and could no longer be dumped in depths of the Great Lakes. They constructed a Confined Disposal Facility with 3.5 miles (5.6 km) of dikes enclosing 700 acres (2.8 km2), which doubled as a barrier for the marsh. They later rerouted streams and partially drained the interior to assist the regrowth of vegetation.[1]

The Pointe Mouillee Waterfowl Festival has occurred yearly since 1947.[2] Since the late 20th century, this park has been a destination for an increasing number of migratory American pelicans, which have a growing population.[3]

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