Dingell, Wayne County Announce Soft Opening for Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Gateway and Visitor Center
Refuge Trails & Fishing Pier will Open to the Public on Thursday, October 1
TRENTON, MI – Today, September 28, 2020 Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) – along with Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans, Trenton Mayor Steven Rzeppa, and the International Wildlife Refuge Alliance (IWRA) – announced a soft opening date for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Gateway.
Beginning October 1, 2020, the lands and waters of the Refuge Gateway – a collaborative partnership that is owned and co-managed by Wayne County and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – will open to the public every Thursday through Sunday, during daylight hours. This includes access to on-site parking, the 700-foot
fishing pier, portions of Humbug Marsh Orange and Green Trails, Humbug Observation deck, Monguagon Boardwalk, picnic tables, bike trails, and a few porta potties.
Please note that the visitor center – including exterior restrooms – will remain closed due to concerns related to public safety and COVID-19. Visitors are encouraged to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 safety guidelines throughout the site. An announcement will be made at a later date when the Visitor Center is ready to be opened.
Read more on the Soft Opening page.
Detroit River IWR Community Connections intern Mike Solomon is on YouTube!
Check out his new videos:
Let's Make a Nature Journal! (4:14)
Farming in a bucket? You better believe it! (8:43)
The 4 knots every angler should know!
Planet Detroit article documents citizen scientists of Detroit River Hawk Watch and other area efforts
A recent article on the Planet Detroit website documents the efforts of citizen scientists in the Metro area. Detroit River IWR biologist Jessica Fletcher lauded the work of the volunteers who contribute to the annual Detroit River Hawk Watch, noting that in 2019, they spent 562 hours documenting over 128,000 birds.
Read more about the DRHW and other citizen scientists here.
View a collection of DRHW photo galleries here.
Learn more about volunteer opportunities with the Detroit River IWR on our website here.
DRIWR & the Downriver area featured in "Under the Radar Michigan"
Detroit Public TV's popular series Under the Radar Michigan" recently debuted an episode featuring the Downriver area, including the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.
Host Tom Daldin explored the area, including joining the Inland Seas Education Association and DRIWR on an excursion aboard the schooner Inland Seas. There's also a kayak adventure on the River Rouge and visits with restaurants run by local entrepreneurs.
Watch the episode by clicking the video above, or view the 30-minute episode on YouTube here.
Come volunteer at the Refuge!
The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge represents a new model for conservation by restoring vital habitats in an urban area through innovative public-private partnerships. If this sounds like a fun and challenging opportunity, then consider becoming a volunteer at the Refuge. Click here to learn more.
Read about the Detroit River Hawk Watch 2019 Count
The 2019 count was the 37th consecutive season of monitoring diurnal raptor and turkey vulture migration at the mouth of the Detroit River, and the 22nd year of consistent coverage at Lake Erie Metropark. There were 562 hours of data collection with counts conducted on 89 days between 01 September and 30 November. 128,131 total turkey vultures and raptors of 15 species were counted, which includes one unknown raptor.
Read the Annual Report from Detroit River Hawk Watch here.
Many people are spending less time in nature with the increasing use of computers, smart phones, television and other technology. It has become increasingly normal to spend less time outdoors. There is concern the younger generations are becoming overly reliant on electronic media and are missing out on the simple enjoyment of being in nature.
The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge (DRIWR) is one of a few urban refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System with nearly seven million people living within a 45-minute drive. It stretches from southwest Detroit to the Ohio border. The Refuge has the unique dual mission of conserving fish and wildlife populations, their habitats, and of helping to bring conservation to cities in an effort to help develop the next generation of conservation stewards.
With the help of partners, we are now able to offer bringing outdoor recreational opportunities into local communities via an eye-catching trailer with engaging photos of local wildlife and youth experiencing outdoor recreational adventures, particularly fishing and archery. See more photos of the trailer on this Gallery page. It is with the support of the DTE Energy Foundation, the Community Foundation of Monroe County, the Colina Family Foundation, Monroe County Community College and IWRA, the Refuge will be bringing outdoor recreation to you! A 6’ x 12’ aluminum cargo trailer filled with equipment will allow families an experience of what may be their first adventure with fishing and archery.
Programming is now being discussed with the River Raisin National Battlefield Park and with local communities where the trailer could be brought. The impact of seeing the trailer arrive with its vivid graphic element is sure to intrigue folks of all ages to step forward and give it a try!
We hope to pique your interest and encourage you to experience outdoor recreation in your own backyard with a shared mission to sustain wildlife and fisheries conservation into the future.
Project funding provided by: The Community Foundation of Monroe County | DTE Energy Foundation | IWRA
Graphic wrap photos provided by volunteers: Thomas Kachelmeyer, Mark Messer, Jake Bonello, Tandem/USFWS