Detroit Refuge

Capital News Service
LANSING – What was once considered the ultimate paradox is now setting a precedent for urban development – a wildlife refuge along the Detroit River. “Bringing Conservation to Cities: Lessons from Building the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge” (Michigan State University Press, $39.95) is a new book about a public-private success story written by inland water scientist John Hartig. It traces the establishment of the country’s first international wildlife refuge. “The next generation of conservationists will come from urban areas,” said Hartig, who is the refuge’s manager. “An area, like Detroit, with 7 million people in the combined watershed, should be engaging them.”

Conservationists seeking field experience in the pristine wilderness might have a challenge, he said.

Detroit River cleanup brightens gateway to Michigan

Capital News Service
LANSING — Cleaning up Detroit and its river could be a key in revitalizing and re-creating Michigan as a state, state officials say. People describe Detroit as the front-door city of the state, said Ron Olson, the chief of parks and recreation for the state Department of Natural Resources. “The better Detroit does, the better the state does.”
The industrial complexes that were built up along the Detroit River and other rivers throughout the state years ago were an abusive use of land, Olson said. Now, the challenge is to dismantle these complexes and restore the waterfronts to the way they once were. The main focus for the future is to continue to figure out how to dismantle and remove the remnants of those complexes to turn that space into safe and usable park space, Olson said.

Colonial cannons from Detroit River help solve historical mysteries

Capital News Service
LANSING – The latest research about six 19th century British cannons recovered from the Detroit River is shedding new light on colonial-era militarization of the Great Lakes region, from the Straits of Mackinac to Indiana. It’s also an opportunity to solve at least three mysteries that date to when Detroit still belonged to the British, even after the American Revolution. In 1984, divers recovered the first cannon from a ridge called “Chicken Bone Reef” in the Detroit River just offshore from Cobo Hall. Others were found in 1984 and 1987. A Detroit police diving team discovered the sixth during a 2011 training exercise in the same location.