FOXe: New exhibit documents Detroit River's comeback - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

FOXe: New exhibit documents Detroit River's comeback

Posted: Updated:
DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) - Our local waterways are among our greatest natural resources, but for nearly two centuries they were severely abused. Sewage, fertilizer and industrial waste were once dumped directly into the Detroit River. The Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle is hosting a new exhibit about the river's comeback.

Click on the video player to watch Robin Schwartz's report.

It's the sound of summer -- the distinctive water of the Detroit River lapping against the rocky shore. There's no question the river is a gem, an asset for commerce and recreation. But we haven't always treated it like the treasure it is.

"We polluted it with industrial waste, we polluted it with human waste, we have destroyed habitats for fish, animals and birds," explained Joel Stone, senior curator with the Detroit Historical Society. "Over time, the entire ecosystem got pretty sick."

We caught up with workers from the Detroit Historical Society putting the finishing touches on "Troubled Waters: Healing our Freshwater Habitats" which tells the story of the river's history from its darker days to the present.

"1940 was the first time we weren't just pumping sewage right into the river," Stone says. "We really didn't get a good system until the 1960's."

State, federal and local laws helped stop the pollution. It's been a massive undertaking involving numerous agencies to get the ecosystem back to where it is today. The Detroit River is home to more than 117 different species of fish and hundreds of different types of birds. Today some are extinct like the passenger pigeon and others are making a comeback.

The exhibit gives people a close up look at some of the waterway's birds and fish. You can even check out a water sample. The museum also has other interactive exhibits including the pilot house from the Great Lakes freighter the S.S. William Clay Ford with incredible views. The Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle is open every Friday-Sunday from 11am-4pm. Admission is free.

Click HERE for more information


  • Robin SchwartzRobin SchwartzMore>>

  • Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:38:55 GMT
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
  • 33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:10:22 GMT
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
  • Handmade furniture from Detroit reclaimed lumber

    Handmade furniture from Detroit reclaimed lumber

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 4:18 PM EDT2014-07-23 20:18:32 GMT
    A new brand of furniture is made with wood from deconstructed Detroit homes. The tables are now being sold at Gardner White Furniture stores.
    A new brand of furniture is made with wood from deconstructed Detroit homes. The tables are now being sold at Gardner White Furniture stores.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Warren grandparents upset after grandchildren see racist graffiti at park

    Warren grandparents upset after grandchildren see racist graffiti at park

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:15:40 GMT
    Tuesday afternoon Bruce and Lubertha Callaway took their grandchildren to Shaw Park in Warren when they saw something they couldn't believe.
    Tuesday afternoon Bruce and Lubertha Callaway took their grandchildren to Shaw Park in Warren when they saw something they couldn't believe.
  • 3-year-old shocked, downed power lines electrify fence

    3-year-old shocked, downed power lines electrify fence

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:51:19 GMT
    A 3-year-old boy is in the hospital after getting shocked by an electrical charge.
    A 3-year-old boy is in the hospital after getting shocked by an electrical charge.
  • Power outage numbers across southeast Michigan

    Power outage numbers across southeast Michigan

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:01 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:01:01 GMT
    As of 9 p.m., DTE Energy has restored power to 171,000 of the customers impacted by the high winds and lightning that hit southeast Michigan Sunday afternoon. Approximately 15,000 customers remain without power.
    As of 9 p.m., DTE Energy has restored power to 171,000 of the customers impacted by the high winds and lightning that hit southeast Michigan Sunday afternoon. Approximately 15,000 customers remain without power.
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices