Great Lakes Region

In the late summer of 2017, NOAA joined Michigan Sea Grant, the Friends of the Detroit River, several Michigan and U.S. legislators, and numerous project partners to celebrate the restoration work being conducted at Stony Island and Belle Isle on the Detroit River.  The Detroit River, which runs along the border with Canada, was designated as one of 43 “Great Lakes Areas of Concern” under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, due to its heavily industrialized past.  The River was then established in 2001 as an International Wildlife Refuge.  Restoring natural habitats – particularly in a highly urbanized river – requires a range of expertise, support, and robust partnerships.   The projects in the Detroit River involved a diverse coalition of partners, including federal agencies, nonprofits, design engineers, construction firms, bi-national advisors, and many others.

Restoration work at Stony Island has supported critical habitat for shorebirds like gulls, terns and cormorants. Image credit: Michigan Sea Grant.


The day’s events began with a tour of Stony Island near Grosse Ile, where work continues to counteract the loss of critical wetland habitat for fish and waterfowl.  Event participants heard remarks from U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, as well as leaders from Michigan Sea Grant, NOAA’s Office of Habitat Conservation, and DTE Energy.   Participants then traveled to the Dossin Great Lakes Museum for a series of presentations from a range of speakers, speakers including U.S. Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence and U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (via video).

To read more about the Detroit River Restoration Tour event and view photos from the day, please visit this link from Michigan Sea Grant for a more in-depth article.


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