#MIHistory – Dec. 21: A Refuge on the Detroit River

On Dec. 21, 2001, legislation authored by U.S. Representative John Dingell that established the first international wildlife refuge in North America, the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, was signed into law. The refuge has grown from its initial size of 304 acres to its current size of approximately 5,000 acres. Habitats that are part of the 48-mile length of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge include islands, coastal wetlands, marshes, shoals and waterfront lands. The refuge’s length spans the Lower Detroit River, south to the western shore of Lake Erie. The refuge is intended to protect and restore habitat for 29 species of waterfowl, 65 kinds of fish and 300 species of migratory birds in Michigan and Ontario.

This is a view of the Detroit River and Humbug Island from a wildlife observation deck in Humbug Marsh Unit of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge in Gibraltar. (Photo courtesy of Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge)

A view of the Detroit River and Humbug Island from a wildlife observation deck in Humbug Marsh Unit of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge in Gibraltar. (Photo courtesy of Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s