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Detroit River
International Wildlife Refuge

male lesser scaup with water behind and cattails to the right
9311 Groh Road
Large Lakes Research Station
Grosse Ile, MI   48138
E-mail: detroitriver@fws.gov
Phone Number: 734/692 7608
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Diving ducks such as lesser scaup prepare for migration at Detroit River Refuge.
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Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge

On December 21, 2001, President Bush signed legislation establishing the first International Wildlife Refuge in North America. The refuge, which includes islands, coastal wetlands, marshes, shoals, and riverfront lands along 48 miles of the Detroit River and western Lake Erie, will protect and restore habitat for 29 species of waterfowl, 65 kinds of fish, and 300 species of migratory birds in Michigan and Ontario, Canada.

The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge has received national acclaim for its use of public-private partnerships in building this urban refuge. In the first five years, the refuge has grown from 304 acres to 4,982 acres. The refuge is managed by staff at the refuge office in Grosse Ile, Michigan.

Getting There . . .
The Refuge office is located on the largest island in the Detroit River - Grosse Ile. It is housed in the Large Lakes Research Station at 9311 Groh Road, Grosse Ile, Michigan. Directions to the Refuge office are as follows:

From I-75, that is the major freeway that goes north and south, take the West Road Exit (east) that heads toward Trenton

Proceed east approximately one mile and turn right (south) on Allen Road

Proceed south approximately 1.5 mile and turn left (east) on Van Horn Road

Proceed east on Van Horn Road to West Jefferson and turn left (north)

Proceed about 100 feet and turn right (east) on Grosse Ile Parkway

Proceed to stop light at Meridian Road and turn right (south)

Proceed south on Meridian Road

Head south about two miles to a stop sign at Groh Road

Proceed through the intersection to the parking lot of Large Lakes Research Station

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Wildlife and Habitat

The Detroit River and western Lake Erie have been recognized for their biodiversity in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, the United Nationals Convention on Biological Diversity, the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network, and the Biodiversity Investment Area Program of Environment Canada and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More than three million waterfowl are estimated to migrate through the Great Lakes area annually.

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Established on December 21, 2001, the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is the first international refuge in North America and one of the few urban ones in the nation. The refuge establishing act redesignated islands and sumberged shoals that were once part of Wyandotte National Wildlife Refuge - Grassy Island and Mamajuda Shoal - as part of the new international refuge.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
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Management Activities
The top priority for your Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is acquiring land for conservation and the benefit of furture generations. Management activities are currently limited by staffing. Some examples of recent management activities include:

46 acres of grasslands were established and three acres of wetlands were restored at the Monroe Power Plant;

12 acres of grasslands were restored at DTE Energy's Fermi 2 Power Plant; and

25 shoreline rehabilitation projects, using soft engineering techniques, have been completed in the last five years.

The refuge is also monitored to assess resource values.