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By John Hartig

Last month we celebrated another amazing year of accomplishments at the annual benefit dinner sponsored by our Friends Group called the International Wildlife Refuge Alliance.

Nearly 300 people attended the dinner and celebration on Fighting Island. A special thanks to BASF for hosting the annual benefit dinner and the Alliance and volunteers who made it possible. It was such a wonderful evening.

As part of this annual celebration, the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge released its annual report that highlights significant accomplishments that: conserve fish, wildlife, and habitats; foster a stewardship ethic; improve quality of life; build partnerships; and help develop the next generation of conservationists.

Major highlights from 2011 include donating of more than 8,000 hours of volunteer time in support of the refuge; hosting 37 refuge outreach events and 19 refuge open houses; controlling invasive Phragmites on 175 acres of refuge lands; involving more than 2,000 students in World Wetlands Day at Gibraltar Carlson High School; adding 58 acres of new land to the refuge; and completing more than $1.1 million of brownfield cleanup and shoreline habitat restoration work at the Wayne County’s Refuge Gateway — the future home of the refuge’s Visitor Center.

The complete annual report is available online at:

Trenton resident John Hartig is refuge manager for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, which is based out of the Large Lakes Research Station on Grosse Ile.


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