Detroit River INternational Wildlife Refuge

Although the city has gone through a well-publicized revitalization, bringing with it a vibrant food scene and renewed nightlife, very few are paying attention to nature. So it might come as a surprise to some that the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, located 20 miles south of the city, has experienced its own renewal in recent years.

Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is bringing conservation to community with events such as place making for people & wildlife using soft shoreline engineering at 5 sites on the Detroit RiverWalk; Kids Fishing Fest; Annual Sturgeon Day and Citizen Science restoration projects.

Established in 2001, the Detroit River IWR includes islands, coastal wetlands, marshes, shoals, and waterfront land along 48 miles of the Detroit River and Lake Erie with over 6,000 acres on the United States side and 12,000 acres on the Canadian side, making it the only international wildlife refuge in North America.
In 1946-1948 5.9 million gallons of oil and other petroleum products were discharged into the Rouge and Detroit Rivers each year. Today, Detroit River is an outdoor adventurers dream, kayaking/canoeing the 110-mile Detroit Heritage River Water Trail, which meanders through the rich natural and cultural history of the Detroit and Rouge rivers.
Ducks Unlimited, a member of the C.A.R.E. coalition, designated Detroit as one of the top ten metro areas for waterfowl hunting.
It takes a village of partners and advocates to help restore grasslands, wetlands and shorelines to a healthy condition.
Nature trails are perfect for catching glimpses of migratory birds, beaver, butterflies and more.

In 2018, we’re going to remind people to get engaged with wildlife refuges by highlighting events and activities taking place around the country, from cleaning up rivers and waterways in Los Angeles to observing butterflies in South Texas to youth leaders from underrepresented communities learning about the fragile wetland ecosystem in Florida. We hope that people will feel energized and engaged by taking part in one of these events, or leave with a greater understanding of the benefits of conservation, and that they continue to visit their community’s wildlife refuges or participate in related local programs for years to come!

Created By
Kristen Berry


Ian Shive / USFWS

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.