TPL Applauds Move to Protect Detroit River (MI)

DETROIT, MI, 8/28/02 – The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national conservation organization, today praised U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., and other public officials and community leaders for the successful protection of the cornerstone property in the establishment of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.

“John Dingell has been a true leader in the efforts to clean up and protect the Detroit River and we are proud to work with him,” said Kathy DeCoster, TPL Director of Federal Programs. She appeared at a news conference where Rep. Dingell, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wayne County, and other key partners in the effort announced the pending acquisition of 44 acres on the DaimlerChrysler property, which will serve as headquarters for the refuge.

Rep. Dingell, the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, has effectively led the effort in Washington to protect open space, wildlife habitat, and sporting opportunities along the Detroit River. “The Detroit River Refuge is an innovative national model, meeting the needs of wildlife and the needs of people,” said DeCoster. “Today’s announcement puts that powerful model to work for this community, and for others around the country who will be inspired by Rep. Dingell’s environmental leadership here.”

The conservation acquisition is the result of a unique partnership among Rep. Dingell, federal and county agencies, the city of Trenton, the Friends of the Detroit River, and a host of other participants. Last year, Dingell led the successful fight in Washington to pass legislation creating the refuge, and secured funding from Congress for the purchase.

“This is just the latest chapter in Rep. Dingell’s distinguished record of conservation achievement,” said DeCoster. “For decades, he has effectively championed the cause of land conservation nationally – and it is gratifying to see that amazing record of environmental accomplishment brought back home to the Detroit River. We at TPL look forward to working with him and with this community to realize this river protection vision.”

The Trust for Public Land, established in 1972, specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law, to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, greenways, community gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness. Across the nation, TPL has helped protect more than 1.4 million acres. In Michigan, TPL has contributed to the protection of more than 55,000 acres, with a total value of more than $17.4 million.