During this year's Great Lakes Week in Detroit, Michigan
, a variety of governments, agencies and organizations came together to work on the continued improvement of the Great Lakes region. Ducks Unlimited was well represented at the conference, a first-of-its-kind gathering that featured the Great Lakes Commission Areas of Concern conference, the meeting of the International Joint Commission biennial meeting and the members of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.
Throughout the week, DU staffers served as speakers at several events. DU Director of Public Policy
for the Great Lakes Atlantic Regional Office Gildo Tori was a speaker at the farm bill session, while DU biologists Russ Terry and Jason Hill shared their experiences with partnering on Great Lakes Restoration Initiative programs.
Ducks Unlimited also led a popular tour to several restoration sites just miles from downtown Detroit, which began on the riverbanks of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge (DRIWR). Refuge manager John Hartig told participants about the long path of restoration that took place to turn this industrial waste area into a conservation jewel.
From there, the tour headed to Pte Mouillee State Game Area, where duck hunters were returning from the marsh as the group toured prime waterfowl habitat. The final tour stop was the Brancheau restoration, which is now part of the DRIWR. During the visit to this site, DU explained how the area was formerly agricultural land until the organization and its partners took action to protect it and restore the hydrology.
"We're pleased with how well received Ducks Unlimited's speakers, tours, booth and staff were during Great Lakes Week," said Tori. "Ducks Unlimited is proud to be a valued part of this year's conference and we hope we can make a positive impact at future events."
To learn more about the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge tour, click here