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DTE Energy Foundation awards $25,000 grant toward construction of boat dock & fishing pier at Refuge Gateway in Trenton, MI

Trenton, Mich. – DTE Energy Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant toward the construction of a school ship dock and world-class fishing pier at the Refuge Gateway in Trenton, Mich. As the future site of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, the Refuge Gateway will welcome thousands of annual visitors and serve as a hub for outdoor recreation and environmental education in southeast Michigan.

“The DTE Energy Foundation is pleased to support this facility, which will enhance environmental education for our children, local residents and visitors, and will provide one of the premier shore-fishing experiences in the Great Lakes,” said Faye Nelson, vice president of Public Affairs for DTE Energy and president of the DTE Energy Foundation.

The contribution from DTE Energy Foundation helped the project to go to bid on Oct. 12, with an expected contract award later this fall. A grand opening for the boat dock and fishing pier will occur in either fall 2016 or spring 2017.

The boat dock and fishing pier will extend 775 feet into the Detroit River to provide a free, universally accessible, shore-based fishing experience. The project includes a boardwalk, fishing pier, floating dock, seating areas, shade structures, and interpretive signage. Areas accessible from the boardwalk include deeper waters of the Trenton Channel well known as part of the “Walleye Capital of the World” and shallower waters rich in panfish. This fishing pier will allow the public to fish in water depths currently only available to those with a personal watercraft. It also will support vessel-based environmental educational opportunities for school children under Michigan Sea Grant’s Great Lakes Education Program.

“Wayne County is proud to be part of this transformational project for southeast Michigan,” noted Lawrence C. Hemingway, Director of Wayne County Parks. “The boat dock and fishing pier will provide access to the wonderful fishing that the Detroit River offers, as well as providing an environmental educational facility for students. Wayne County Parks is extremely excited about the quality of life enhancements this project will bring to the community.”

The Refuge Gateway is a former industrial brownfield that has been cleaned up and restored as the gateway to the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge (DRIWR). It is located adjacent to Refuge’s Humbug Marsh, Michigan’s only “Wetland of International Importance” designated by the international Ramsar Convention and the last mile of undeveloped shoreline along the U.S. mainland of the Detroit River.

Other funding partners include: Great Lakes Fishery Trust, Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, Wayne County, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CN, Downriver Community Conference, International Wildlife Refuge Alliance, Consumers Energy, Carl’s Foundation, Quicken Loans, Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, Colina Family, World Heritage Fund - Prechter Family Fund, R.L. Easterbrook, ITC, BASF Corporation, Bottom Line Bait & Tackle, Cardno JFNew, Monroe Bank & Trust, Wyandot of Anderdon, Wyandot of Oklahoma, ASTI, Karmazin Family, Grosse Ile Bridge Company, Ducks Unlimited, LimnoTech, Eastman Chemical, Niswander Environmental, Meyer Family Foundation, St.Thomas Lutheran Church, Trenton Exchange Club, Dr. Noel and Debbie Jackson, and Friends of the Detroit River.

The DRIWR covers 48 miles of shoreline along the lower Detroit River and western basin of Lake Erie. It stretches from southwest Detroit to the Ohio-Michigan border. The Refuge focuses on conserving, protecting and restoring habitat for 300 species of birds, including 30 species of waterfowl, 23 species of raptors, 31 species of shorebirds, and for 117 species of fish.

For further information, contact:

Elizabeth Iszler, Chief of Planning and Design, Wayne County Parks; 734.261.4312; eiszler@waynecounty.com

Randi Berris, Manager, Public Affairs and DTE Energy Foundation communications, DTE Energy; 313.235.5555; berrisr@dteenergy.com

Joann Van Aken, Executive Director, International Wildlife Refuge Alliance; 734.692.7671; iwr_alliance@yahoo.com