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GLIN==> Island in Detroit River Acquired by Nature Conservancy

2840 E. Grand River Ave., Ste. 5 - E. Lansing, MI 48823 -

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Contact: Helen Taylor, State Director
March 27, 2001                          (517) 332-1741

Calf Island Saved by The Nature Conservancy

DETROIT - One of the last undeveloped marshes in the Detroit River, which is
known as a migratory stop for bald eagles, raptors, songbirds and other
waterfowl, will now be protected forever by The Nature Conservancy, Michigan
    The Nature Conservancy is purchasing Calf Island, an 8-acre island
located within the lower portion of the Detroit River known as the
Conservation Crescent. The area is noted by scientists as an important
ecological system because of its high concentration and diversity of birds.
The purchase ensures the island will not be sold on the open market to
bidders wanting to build on the island and threaten its natural habitat.
    "Saving Calf Island from future development is extremely exciting and
rewarding," said Helen Taylor, state director for the Michigan chapter.
"While it may be small, it has considerable ecological value. We're thrilled
to be playing such a significant role in protecting the natural heritage of
this ecoregion."
    Ecologists also note that the Detroit River is an important waterfowl
migration corridor situated at the intersection of the Atlantic and
Mississippi flyways. About 3 million ducks, geese, swans and other birds
migrate annually through this ecoregion.
    The portion of the Detroit River known as the Conservation Crescent
begins at Stony Island on the east, runs south around Sugar Island and the
bottom of Grosse Ile, and comes back up the west bank of the river at the
Humbug Island and marsh. It contains nearly all the coastal marsh left on
the Detroit River.
  "With the rapid pace at which our area's population is growing, I believe
this purchase to be essential to preserving outdoor recreational
opportunities and the quality of life we presently enjoy," said State Rep.
George Mans (D-CITY) in a supporting letter.
    Taylor agrees this purchase is essential and credits other groups, such
as Ducks Unlimited, in aiding the acquisition.
    "Calf Island provides important benefits in this area of high population
density," said Ducks Unlimited Regional Biologist David Brakhage. "It serves
as a site for migrating waterfowl and as a fish hatchery in its surrounding
waters, especially for walleye."
    The Conservancy will send land stewards to the site this summer to assess
any damage to the island for future restoration. The island may be open to
the public in future years.
    The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to preserve the plants, animals
and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by
protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. The Nature Conservancy
counts 1 million members nationwide, including 32,500 in Michigan. To date,
the Conservancy and its members have been responsible for the protection of
more than 12 million acres in the United States, and owns more than 1,300
preserves in the country-the largest private system of nature sanctuaries in
the world.
                                                              # # #

Melissa Soule, Communications Director
The Nature Conservancy, Michigan Chapter
msoule@tnc.org - (517) 332-1741
*Togther with communities, businesses and people like you,
  we preserve precious places in Michigan and around the world.

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permits/Technical Review, Public Policy and
Communications on Air, Water and Waste Issues
and Community Environmental Protection

PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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