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Greater Detroit
AHR Initiative

Leveraging Funding for River Improvement Projects

Protecting Natural Assets and Wildlife Habitat

Restoring River Shoreline

Private Sector Leadership

MAC-DRIWR Fellowship Program





Greater Detroit American Heritage River Initiative
MAC-Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Fellowship Program

Since 2006, MAC has funded fellowships through the AHR Initiative to provide educational opportunities and direct work experience for students interested in preserving and protecting our natural environment. Working under the Refuge Manager for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge (DRIWR), fellows assist and complement the AHR Initiative by providing additional capacity for a range of projects and activities. 

Detroit River-Western Lake Erie Basin Indicator Project
The first fellow coordinated the Detroit River-Western Lake Erie Basin Indicator Project, a project designed to monitor the health of the Detroit River and western Lake Erie ecosystems.  Ecological indicators such as contaminants in fish, coastal wetland loss, reproductive success of threatened and endangered species, land use changes, and pollutant emissions are measureable and provide useful information on ecosystem status, quality, trends, and factors as well as aid public policy decision-makers. 

Indicators are continually published as they are developed at www.epa.gov/med/grosseile_site/indicators. As of January 2008, 50 indicators have been posted.    
Byways to Flyways Regional Bird-Driving Tour
The MAC-DRIWR fellowship program provided the needed support to help secure funding for and develop Byways to Flyways, a regional bird-driving tour map that features 27 sites across the Windsor-Detroit metro area known for fantastic birding opportunities.  Made possible by a $100,000 grant from the Wild Birds Unlimited Pathways to Nature Conservation Fund and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the unique Byways to Flyways map complements MAC’s Discover Our Wild Side nature tourism initiative.

The map was released in May 2007. More information on this unique project is available here.

Developing a Wildlife Observation Deck at Humbug Marsh
The second fellow coordinated a team of volunteers to build a new wildlife observation deck and educational kiosk at Humbug Marsh at the developing Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Gateway. The observation deck offers great views of Humbug Island and many of the unique birds that call the marsh home, providing a new outdoor recreation opportunity that improves the quality of life of people in metro Detroit.

Additional Project Contributions
MAC/DRIWR fellows have provided assistance on a variety of other environmental improvement projects and outreach opportunities, including:

  • A technical review that summarized 30 years of Rockwood Christmas Bird Count Data (available here).
  • A common tern banding and research project.

Current Fellow
A third fellow was selected in December 2007.  The fellow will work on a range of projects at Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, including interpretive trails, the construction of an environmental education shelter at Humbug Marsh, and assist with a wetland restoration project at the refuge Brancheau Unit in Monroe County.

For more information on the MAC/DRIWR Fellowship Program, please contact MAC at mac@mac-web.org.


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