Environment Picture

Detroit River cleanup approved for newest Michigan historical marker

The first historical marker for an MEC-sponsored Michigan Conservation Trail was approved by the Michigan Historical Commission in December. The environmental recovery of the Detroit River is the theme of the marker, which will be installed at the entrance to the visitor center of the new Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge in Trenton.
“The Detroit River, home to Michigan’s early Native Americans and used for transportation and power generation, was threatened by pollutants such as oil and phosphorus,” stated Department of History, Arts and Libraries Director William Anderson. “The subsequent cleanup of the river and its ultimate recovery is one of Michigan’s great environmental successes.”
The discovery of industrial mercury in the river in 1970 helped encourage passage of the federal Clean Water Act. The marker is a joint project of MEC and the Michigan Historical Center, with funding from the Americana Foundation. Other markers proposed by MEC include one honoring the conservation work of parks pioneer E. Genevieve Gillette and another celebrating the recovery of the Kirtland’s warbler, whose summer breeding range is almost exclusively in northern Michigan.
-Dave Dempsey, Michigan Environmental Council
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