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 U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE TO HOLD AN OPEN HOUSE ON COMPREHENSIVE CONSERVATION PLAN FOR WYANDOTTE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE 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."