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Great Lakes Article:

Public input sought on refuge
Open houses to set sanctuary's agenda for next 15 years

By Shanteé Woodards / The Detroit News
06/23/2002


   WYANDOTTE -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking comments about its planned Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.
   Two open houses this week will help federal officials determine fish and wildlife priorities in the refuge for the next 15 years. The plan will examine what type of land would be suitable for the refuge, if there should be an emphasis on protecting existing habitats or restoring degraded ones and which recreational uses would be appropriate.
   The refuge, located in Wayne and Monroe counties, is the first international sanctuary in North America.
   It will protect and restore habitat for 29 species of waterfowl, 65 kinds of fish and 300 species oF migratory birds along the lower Detroit River in Michigan and Canada.
   The first open house was Wednesday at Copeland Recreation Center in Wyandotte.
   A second gathering is today at Monroe City Hall, 120 E. First St., from 4-8 p.m. Participants will be placed in small groups to discuss hunting and fishing, wildlife observation and education and habitat protection and restoration.
   Residents also can submit comments at the service's planning Web site, http://midwest.fws.gov/planning/detroitrivertop.htm.
   The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Establishment Act was passed last year. The bill defined 18 miles from Zug Island in Detroit to Sterling State Park in Monroe to be protected. Officials estimate that 95 percent of coastal wetlands along the Detroit River have been lost to development.
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