FORD, ACH DONATION ADDS 240 ACRES OF WETLANDS TO DETROIT RIVER INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Michigan Congressman John Dingell (left) and Automotive Components Holdings LLC Director of Operations Mark Blair celebrate a business/government partnership, as Ford and ACH donate the 240 acre Ford Marsh to expand the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.
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- Ford and Automotive Component Holdings LLC (ACH) have donated the Ford Marsh coastal wetlands in Monroe County, Mich., to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, adding 242 acres to the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge
- The donation and preservation of Ford Marsh has been hailed as model public-private partnership to preserve and protect environmentally important land
- Ford Marsh is an important flyway for thousands of migrating birds, a habitat for bald eagles and wide variety of mammals, and is home to significant beds of the American Lotus, the official symbol of Michigan’s clean waterways
DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 16, 2010 – Ford Motor Company and Automotive Components Holdings LLC today announced the donation of 242 acres of unique coastal wetlands in Monroe County, Mich., to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be included in the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.
This donation of the land follows nearly five years of joint management under a cooperative agreement between ACH, a Ford affiliate, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Ford Marsh is located adjacent to Lake Erie in Monroe County and bordered by Sterling State Park and the River Raisin.
It is an important flyway for thousands of migrating birds, a habitat for bald eagles and wide variety of mammals, and is home to significant beds of the American Lotus, the official symbol of Michigan’s clean waterways.
“This is a special piece of land and I’m pleased this donation will ensure that it will remain pristine for future generations to enjoy its natural beauty and rich wildlife,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman. “At Ford, protecting the environment is a core value and this project is an example of how we can partner with the government to ensure that vision is a reality.”
Ford and ACH worked closely with U.S. Rep. John Dingell in donating the land to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “We are profoundly thankful to Congressman Dingell for his leadership that enabled us to work through the regulatory challenges and leave this lasting legacy in Monroe County,” said Mark Blair, CEO of ACH.
“There is an unfortunate myth that corporations and conservation cannot go well together,” Dingell said. “The donation of Ford Marsh by Ford and ACH should permanently debunk that falsehood. In fact, some of the greatest potential for preserving our fragile wetlands and wildlife habitats in this country lies within our nation’s businesses – a concept the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge continues to advance.
“I want to express my deep gratitude to both Ford and ACH for making this donation possible and for bravely creating an example that I hope will be increasingly followed by other corporations around the country,” Dingell added
The habitat has been jointly managed since 2005 under a cooperative agreement between ACH and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was established in 2001 under an Act of Congress authored by Congressman Dingell.
“In acknowledgment of this significant donation by Ford and ACH, we are naming this area the Ford Marsh Unit,” said John Hartig, refuge manager of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. “We have lost over 90 percent of the coastal wetlands in this western Lake Erie region to development. The permanent conservation of this unique marsh will make a major difference in restoring and maintaining the ecological integrity of Lake Erie and North America’s only International Wildlife Refuge.”
The Ford Marsh contains marshlands, forests, and transitional meadows, and is home to bald eagles that have returned to the coastal marshes to nest on the site. The marsh also is home to significant beds of the threatened American Lotus, a pale yellow flower that is the nation's largest aquatic wildflower.
The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge incorporates more than 5,700 acres along a
48-mile stretch of shoreline on the lower Detroit River and western Lake Erie. It is the only international wildlife refuge in North America and one of the few urban refuges in the United States.
Under the earlier management agreement, biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service banded and monitored bald eagles, and worked on plans to manage invasive species and enhance wildlife habitats.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is, working with others, to conserve protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge focuses its efforts on 30 species of waterfowl, 117 kinds of fish and 300 species of migratory birds.
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 198,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com .
Automotive Components Holdings was established by Ford Motor Company in October 2005 to restructure and prepare ACH facilities, formerly owned by Visteon, for sale or other disposition.