The Detroit River system has experienced significant impacts since European settlement, but especially since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Coastal wetlands have been filled in, the river bottom has been dredged, ecosystems have been fragmented, and pollutants have accumulated. Belle Isle State Park has long been considered a treasure to southeast Michigan, especially the city of Detroit, but it wasn’t until recent decades that people really understood the true significance of this open park land’s natural resources. This presentation will share a couple of the many habitat re-creation stories in the park. This includes the reconnection of 65 acres of historic coastal wetland habitat to the Detroit River, the installation of 5 acres of Detroit River reef spawning habitat (targeted for over 17 fish species), and 5-acres of nearshore fish nursery habitat.
Additional Contributors: Sam Lovall, Glenn Palmgren, Amanda Treadwell