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News Release for Wyandotte NWR

     A public meeting will be held at Wyandotte City Hall from 4-8pm on 
     February 25, 1999.  The open house is being held to hear from our 
     customers, issues the local community and others may have concerning 
     Wyandotte NWR.  If you can't make the meeting, please send your 
     comments to me or John Schomaker in Region 3's regional office, Ft. 
     Snelling, MN.
     Please pass this on to others that may have interest in the Detroit 
     River area.
     Doug Spencer
     News Release
     For Release: February 10, 1999                     Contact: Douglas G. 
     Spencer 517-777-5930
        The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that it is 
     preparing a Comprehensive Conservation Plan for the Wyandotte National 
     Wildlife Refuge in Wayne County.  The Comprehensive Conservation Plan 
     will guide management decisions for the next 15 years.
        As part of the planning process, the Refuge will hold an open house 
     to give the public an opportunity to participate in the planning 
     process.  The open house will be held at Wyandotte City Hall on 
     Thursday, February 25.  The open house will go take place from 4 p.m. 
     to 8 p.m.
        "We want to learn what concerns the public has about the refuge and 
     what they see as opportunities," said Doug Spencer, Refuge Manager.  
     "I hope everyone with an interest in the area will attend an open 
     house and share their thoughts and ideas."
        Spencer also adds, "In addition to learning from the public, the 
     open house will provide an opportunity for us to answer questions and 
     for the public to learn more about the refuge and the U.S. Fish and 
     Wildlife Service."
        The area covered by the plan will also include wetland restorations 
     and conservation easements within a Wetland Management District which 
     covers 45 counties of the lower peninsula, a refuge expansion area 
     surrounding Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Saginaw, Green 
     Point Environmental Learning Center in Saginaw, Michigan Islands 
     National Wildlife Refuge in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron including the 
     Charity Islands and Wyandotte National Wildlife Refuge including 
     Grassy Island.  These units are known collectively as the Shiawassee 
     National Wildlife Refuge Complex.  Part of a system of over 500 
     refuges nationwide, Wyandotte is one of seven National Wildlife 
     Refuges in Michigan.  
        Wyandotte National Wildlife Refuge was established by an act of 
     Congress on August 3, 1961, to be maintained as a refuge and breeding 
     place for migratory birds and other wildlife.  The refuge consists of 
     two islands, Grassy and Mamajuda, and adjacent shallow water areas.  
     It totals 304 acres and is located in the Detroit River off shore from 
     Wyandotte, Michigan, from which it takes it name.  The refuge is 
     situated in what was once one of the most significant migratory 
     staging areas in the United States for diving ducks.  Extensive beds 
     of aquatic vegetation, particularly wild celery, attracted large 
     concentrations of canvasback and scaup ducks.  However, in the past 
     100 years, discharges from the steel and chemical industry and 
     municipal sewage effluent along with effects of large, deep-draft 
     vessels, have degraded the lower Detroit River ecosystem, resulting in 
     the substantial decline of these preferred foods.  Grassy Island was 
     also used as a confined disposal facility for contaminated dredge 
     spoil in the 60's and 70's.  Mamajuda Island no longer has significant 
     land above the waterline.
        Spencer urges, "If someone can not attend an open house and would 
     like to comment, they can send written comments to me at Refuge 
     Manager, Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, 6975 Mower Road, 
     Saginaw, Michigan 48601.  For more information or to be placed on a 
     mailing list, they can call 517-777-5930."