TRENTON, Michigan — Major environmental restoration work has been completed on a former industrial site along the Detroit River, officials announced Saturday.
Wayne County, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others have been working for nearly a decade on the restoration of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Gateway in Trenton.
Located on the river's Trenton Channel, it was the site of a Chrysler manufacturing facility that was deactivated in 1990. The gateway sits next to the Humbug Marsh — the last mile of natural shoreline on the U.S. mainland of the Detroit River.
"We've spent nine years cleaning up this site. It's pretty amazing. ... It's pretty unusual," refuge manager John Hartig told The Associated Press.
The project included restoring 25 acres of potential animal habitats and 16 acres of wetlands in an area that had lost 97 percent of its coastal wetlands. It also controlled invasive species on 50 acres of upland habitats and 2.5 miles of shoreline.
The gateway work is to be among the topics discussed later Saturday at an annual benefit dinner at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores.
In addition, refuge officials plan to tell attendees that 95 percent of the architecture and engineering work required for the design of a visitor center at the gateway has been completed.
The refuge itself includes more than 5,700 acres along 48 miles of the lower Detroit River and western Lake Erie.
The focus of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is on conserving, protecting and restoring habitat for a range of native fish and wildlife and their habitats and bills itself as the first international refuge in North America and one of a few urban ones in the nation.