Belle Isle flowing towards recovery

Photo: Belle Isle, Friends of the Detroit River

The 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement designated the Detroit River as one of 43 “Great Lakes Areas of Concerns” or contaminated sites.

Since then, agencies have come together to improve the water quality of the Detroit river by designing a restoration plan for the forest flats, restoring habitat for fish and wildlife, and removing invasive species.

Roughly $10.4 million dollars has been spent on Belle Isle restoration since 2010 and 300 acres of habitat has been restored on the island. Improving the habitat for fish and wildlife will also benefit people because it will create better fishing opportunities and provide other outdoor recreational activities which will attract more people to the area.

When shoreline restoration is done, the vegetation acts as a natural buffer and will filter out contaminants, this means residents could save money on their drinking water. In addition, improved shorelines could increase residents property values.

These projects are expected to revitalized southeast Michigan’s economy by supporting outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities, clean water, healthy neighborhoods, and a high quality of life- really a win-win.

See below for a description of all the great things happening for Belle Isle:

1. Sugar Island Habitat Restoration
2. Lake Okonoka Habitat Restoration
3. Celeron Island Restoration
4. Stony Island Restoration
5. Blue Heron Lagoon
6. South Fishing Pier
7. United States Steel Site

In addition to projects that are targeted to delist the Detroit River as an Area of Concern, Friends of the Detroit River has completed the following restoration projects:

1. Invasive Species Prevention and Control on Belle Isle – Detroit River
2. Frank and Poet Creek Stream Bed, Bank and Shoreline Restoration Project

For more information on current and past Great Lakes habitat restoration projects, click here.