WYANDOTTE — Friends of the Detroit River extends an invitation to get together March 31 at the Wyandotte Boat Club for the annual Detroit Riverkeeper fundraising dinner.
The goal of the dinner is to raise funds to help support the Detroit Riverkeeper program and the patrol work that Riverkeeper Robert Burns does along the Detroit River.
The dinner will be held at the rowing club’s facility in the Wyandotte Boat Club’s second-story banquet room, which overlooks the Detroit River. The facility is at 1 Pine St, east of Biddle Avenue and south of Eureka Road, across from the Portofino restaurant parking lot.
Doors open at 6 p.m. for socializing, followed by a catered dinner at 7 p.m.
Friends of the Detroit River is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and improving the waters and habitats along the river’s watershed.
After dinner, a presentation will be given on three Great Lakes restoration projects the group is working on along the Detroit River.
According to Burns, the group received $3.2 million in grants on behalf of the Detroit River Area of Concern’s Public Advisory Committee from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiate funds to do the projects. Two of them are on Belle Isle and one is along the shoreline of U.S. Steel-Great Lakes Works’ facility in Ecorse and River Rouge.
The first project on Belle Isle will be at the south fishing pier, just below the Coast Guard station, and will involve the creation of a fish habitat area behind the pier, along with some shoreline restoration.
The second Belle Isle project will be to open up the landlocked Blue Heron Lagoon lake, at the upper end of the island, to the river.
“This will allow fish from the river to be able to access this 40-acre shallow wetland lake, adding valuable fishing habitat for spawning and a nursery area for fish that hatch in the upper river,” Burns said.
The third project is between the Great Lakes Steel Boat Club and the 80-inch rolling mill on the U.S. Steel site. Burns said this shoreline has some natural features on a section of the site not being used by the facility.
“The project is currently proposing to enhance an existing 300-feet rock shoal that will provide additional fish habitat,” he said. “The shoreline will also be enhanced with emergent native vegetation, and about five acres of upland area will be replanted with native trees, bushes and vegetation to provide habitat for local wildlife and migratory birds.”
All three projects are expected to begin by this summer.
The fundraiser will include a cash bar, music, a raffle and a silent auction. Advance tickets are $50 per couple, $30 for a single ticket and $15 for children.
“Come join us for a pleasant evening of networking and socializing,” Burns said.
For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, call 1-734-675-0141 or visitdetroitriver.org.By Jim Kasuba