IWRA

Dedicated to helping the US Fish and Wildlife Service deliver the mission of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge
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2018 John D. Dingell Friend of the Refuge Awards

On Tuesday, April 17th at Gibraltar City Hall, two John D. Dingell Friend of the Refuge Awards were given in recognition of leadership and dedication to conservation on the Detroit River and western Lake Erie Basin.  This year’s honorees were Richard E. Mills (Individual Award) and The Nature Conservancy (Non-Profit Award).

Read more about the awards and the recipients here (PDF).




IWRA Chair Richard Micka, Deputy District Director Michael Klotz (representing Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and John Dingell), Richard and Cheryl Mills, and IWRA Executive Director Joann Van Aken.  The 2018 Friend of the Refuge- Individual Award was presented to Mr. Richard Mills on Tuesday, April 17 at Gibraltar City Hall.  Photo: Mark Messer

IWRA Chair Richard Micka, Deputy District Director Michael Klotz (representing Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and John Dingell), TNC Restoration Director Chris May, IWRA Executive Director Joann Van Aken, and TNC Associate State Director Patrick Doran.  The 2018 Friend of the Refuge- Non-Profit Award was presented to The Nature Conservancy on Tuesday, April 17 at Gibraltar City Hall.  Photo: Mark Messer
 
New Regional Treaty a Boost for Migratory Birds

More than fifty people, including students from the Ralph J. Bunche Preparatory Academy, assembled on the Detroit Riverwalk to witness Metropolitan Detroit become the 29th U.S. city in the Urban Bird Treaty program. The program was established in 1999 as a collaborative effort among federal, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions to create bird-friendly environments and to provide citizens the opportunities to connect with nature through birding and conservation activities.

Read more about the signing in this article from the Trenton (MI) Tribune.


Upcoming Events



Saturday, June 1, 2019 (9:00 am – 1:00 pm)
Humbug Reunion! Wyandot and Archery Fun!
While we await the visitor center grand opening, let’s enjoy activities along the Humbug Marsh Unit trails! The Wyandot of Anderdon Nation will showcase a variety of artifacts under the education shelter. Refuge staff and volunteers will host youth, ages 10 and up, to try their skill at archery in the scenic Walnut Grove! Come for a portion or the entire event. Parking for the event is located at 28007 West Jefferson, Gibraltar Michigan 48173 across the street from HyCal on West Jefferson. For more information please contact Jennie Braatz at jennifer_braatz@fws.gov or by calling at 734-288-6459.

Sunday, June 9, 2019 (1:00 pm)
Wetland Wonders at Gibraltar Bay Unit, 28820 East River Rd, Grosse Ile
Join Grosse Ile Nature and Land Conservancy for a program to learn about how wonderful our local wetlands are! Please contact GINLC.education@gmail.com for more information.

Saturday, August 3, 2019 (9:00 am – 1:00 pm)
Humbug Reunion!
While we await the visitor center grand opening, let’s enjoy activities along the Humbug Marsh Unit trails! Come for a portion or the entire event. Parking for the event is located at 28007 West Jefferson, Gibraltar Michigan 48173 across the street from HyCal on West Jefferson. For more information please contact Jennie Braatz at jennifer_braatz@fws.gov or by calling at 734-288-6459.

Saturday, September 7, 2019 (10:00 am – 2:00 pm)
Humbug Reunion! Monarchs on the move!
While we await the visitor center grand opening, let’s enjoy activities along the Humbug Marsh Unit trails! Help us celebrate the AMAZING Monarch Butterfly! Come walk the trails, look for Monarchs, make Monarch crafts and see captive bred butterflies up close and personal! Come for a portion or the entire event. Parking for the event is located at 28007 West Jefferson, Gibraltar Michigan 48173 across the street from HyCal on West Jefferson. For more information please contact Jennie Braatz at jennifer_braatz@fws.gov or by calling at 734-288-6459.

 
Good News About the Detroit River Outlined

In an article for "The Outdoor Wire," James D. Swan, Ph.D.provides an overview of the Detroit River, from its early colonial days as a waterway for French colonists, to industrial dumping ground by the United States and Canada, to pollution control efforts in the early 20th century, and finally to environmental success stories of the last couple of decades. Dr. Swan shares family recollections and observations from Detroit River IWR manager Dr. John Hartig. To read the article, go to www.theoutdoorwire.com/features/231925.



John D. Dingell Friend of the Refuge Awards for 2017

On May 15, 2017 at the Gibraltar (MI) City Hall, the IWRA announced the winners of this year's John D. Dingell Friend of the Refuge awards, in recognition of leadership and dedication to conservation on the Detroit River and the western Lake Erie Basin. The honorees were Dr. Russell G. Kreis, Jr. (individual honoree); Michigan Sea Grant (non-profit honoree), and CN Rail (corporate honoree). Read more about each recipient and the awards. Click on the photos to enlarge.


New Refuge Visitor Center named for John D. Dingell, Jr.

Detroit News photo by Todd McInturf

At a ceremony January 14, 2017, officials with the US Fish & Wildlife Service's Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge announced that the new visitor center, currently under construction, will be named for former US Representative John D. Dingell, Jr. Dingell, who served nearly sixty years in Congress, championed the refuge as well as a host of environmental initiatives and conservation legislation.



The 2017 Annual Report is now available to be viewed and downloaded online.

Click here to go to the report.


The Refuge is working with Detroit Audubon on the "Safe Passage
Program," which provides dark corridors for nighttime flyers.

Learn more about Safe Passage here (PDF) and at this Detroit Audubon page.
 
Project S.N.A.P. Mosaic Mural Coming Soon

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We have received all the funding that was needed for the Project S.N.A.P. Mosaic Mural. Thank you to all who contributed; we greatly appreciate the support!

The mural will be revealed with the grand opening of the Refuge Visitor Center.
Blue Goose Bus Fund - Help students visit the Refuge!

The IWRA's Blue Goose Bus Fund will help schools and educators experience the Detroit River IWR by helping to offset the costs of bus transportation to and from the Refuge.
For more information, contact Executive Director Joann Van Aken at iwr_alliance@yahoo.com or 734-692-7671.
Construction on the Fishing Pier Continues:
completion expected soon


For more photos of the design and the construction, visit the Photo Gallery page.

The 2019 Calendar of Events for the International Wildlife Refuge is now online. Check the dates for an event.



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