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E-M:/ Detroit River Habitat Report

Enviro-Mich message from GreenPlanet <riccawu@MNSi.Net>


"Because we have lost so much critical habitat in the Detroit River, there
is an urgent need to protect remaining habitats like the Humbug Marsh and
Peche Island"

On March 4, 1998, a binational conference entitled "Rehabilitating and
Enhancing Detroit River Habitats" was held at the University of Windsor.
The Conference Report will be officially released today on Detroit's Belle
Isle, one of the sites discussed in the report.  The report highlights
success stories of fish and wildlife habitat rehabilitation and conservation
from both sides of the Detroit River, and identifies critical management and
research needs.  

Success stories were well received, but participants went further, stating
that while habitat rehabilitation projects are important and necessary,
there is an urgent need to protect the few remaining natural areas along the
Detroit River such as Humbug Marsh and Peche Island.    The report notes
that 97% of coastal wetlands on the US mainland have been lost to
development and the remaining 3% is Humbug Marsh which is threatened by
development.  Approximately 96% of Essex regions's original wetland area has
been lost as a result of forest clearing and wetland drainage for
agriculture, and for urban development.  

Many of the habitat sites that were discussed at the conference can be best
observed first hand at the upcoming 'State of the River Tour' on September
19, 1998.  The boat will depart Dieppe Park at the foot of Ouellette Avenue
in Windsor at NOON and will highlight many of the conference success
stories, as well as the progress and challenges of key environmental issues.
Participants will have an opportunity to view habitat projects and hot spots
of the Detroit River while binational experts provide expert narration.

The conference and boat tour and other events are part of an on-going series
organized through a partnership initiative between the University of
Windsor's Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research and the Citizens
Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario.  This unique partnership aimed
at providing education and promoting public participation in the
environmental and biological health of the Detroit River ecosystem.

Other partners and co-sponsors in this event included:   Canadian Auto
Workers Local 444; Canadian Salt Company Ltd., City of Windsor,  Dean
Construction Company Ltd., Detroit Edison, Environment Canada, International
Joint Commission Council of Great Lakes Research Managers, International
Joint Commission Water Quality Board, Lafontaine, Cowie, Burratto and
Associates Consulting Engineers,   Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan State
University, Windsor & District Labour Council, Windsor Harbour Commission.
NOTE:  The Report  Rehabilitating & Conserving Detroit River Habitats: A
Binational Conference, released Monday on Belle Isle, in Detroit, is
available at: the CEA web site: http://www.mnsi.net/~cea

For further information or a hard copy of the report please call

*Dr. John Hartig  313-226-2170-x 6711 
*Dr. Jan Ciborowski 519-253-3000 x 2725
*Citizens Environment Alliance of SW Ontario/SE Michigan 519-973-1116/

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