Washington, D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives today approved legislation (H.R.
289) authored by Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Rep. John D. Dingell
(D-MI) that will expand the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and
the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge along the Lake Erie shoreline to encompass
more critical wildlife habitat.
"Today we are one step closer to implementing the
keystones of our conservation vision for the Lake Erie shoreline," said
Dingell. "It's a big win for conservationists, wildlife enthusiasts and the
residents of Southeastern Michigan and Northern Ohio. The seven million ducks
and geese that migrate through the area annually will be particularly
"The House of Representatives has placed two more
precious jewels on the green necklace of the Lake Erie shoreline," said
Kaptur. "Expansion of these two important refuges will spur ecotourism,
benefiting the residents of Ohio and Michigan and protect our beautiful and
The innovative legislation encourages
public-private partnerships for conservation and restoration of wildlife
habitat along the Detroit River and southern shore of Lake Erie while placing
special emphasis on the protection of private property rights. Landowners will
have the opportunity to enter into cooperative management agreements, sell and
even donate land to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who will manage the
refuge lands for public recreation, wildlife observation, hunting and fishing.
"There is precious little remaining undeveloped
wildlife habitat along the Lake Erie Shoreline, and there is a tremendous
urgency to protect it," added Dingell. "Lake Erie is an invaluable resource
that is essential to our economy. It provides numerous recreational
opportunities and it’s central to our quality of life."