DETROIT — A dock and a fishing pier will be built at the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, after $2.85 million was raised for the project to expand access to the waterway, officials announced Thursday.
The dock, designed for use by students on educational trips, and pier will be in the same area of the suburb of Trenton where a visitor's center is being built to serve as a hub for outdoor recreation, wildlife observation and education, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Wayne County said.
"These improvements will benefit research and outdoor recreation for decades to come and will help the next generation to experience firsthand the benefits of scientific natural resource management in a scenic part of southeast Michigan," Jon Mayes of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund said in a statement.
The pier and dock are scheduled to open this fall or the spring of 2016. Those involved in the project note that the area is known for walleye fishing. Plans call for fishing tournaments at the site as well as access to shallower water for younger children to fish.
Major funding for the project comes from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, Wayne County, the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, and the Fish and Wildlife Service. Construction is being planned to minimize any effects on wildlife habitats, such as the adjacent Humbug Marsh area.
Wayne County, the Fish and Wildlife Service and others worked for nearly a decade on restoration of the Refuge Gateway. Located on the river's Trenton Channel, it was the site of a Chrysler manufacturing facility that was deactivated in 1990.
The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge includes more than 5,800 of acres along 48 miles of the lower Detroit River and western Lake Erie. It bills itself as the first international refuge in North America and one of a few urban ones in the nation.
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