Detroit Island Land Acquisition (225)

Case Name:


United States of America

Restoration Types:



Affected DOI Resources:

Migratory Birds; Threatened and Endangered Species


Washington Island



Project Description

Detroit Island is one of the islands in the Grand Traverse chain linking the Door Peninsula of Wisconsin to the Garden Peninsula of Michigan. Detroit Island is an elongate (6 km long, 0.2 km wide) island lying just a few hundred yards east of the Washington Island ferry dock. The island is 260 hectares, is 25 meters above Lake Michigan, and encompasses many low interior escarpments, reefs, and cobble beaches. In March 2019, 148.65 acres of Detroit Island were added to the Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge as a result of the acquisitions and habitat for a variety of priority trust resources would be protected from future development. Another property owner immediate adjacent north of the USFWS recently acquired property on Detroit Island has been contacted by the USWFS, to see if they are interested in selling to the USFWS. This project directly protects and conserves critical feeding and resting stopover habitat for migratory species (birds, butterflies, and insects) along the north and western shore of Lake Michigan and supports local island biodiversity.   Protection of the upland portions of this island precludes residential or commercial building and the associated near shore / shallow water disturbances; this will indirectly result in the long-term protection of near shore fish spawning and fish-eating bird habitat around the perimeter of the island. Following the acquisition of 148.65 acres, there are $150,000 of NRDAR dollars remaining. The USFWS has contacted another property owner on Detroit Island to potentially purchase the property, but the status of these discussions is not known at this time (spring 2020).

Restoration Land Ownership

Fish and Wildlife Service

Parties Implementing Restoration


DOI Project Representatives

Fish and Wildlife Service

Detroit Island shoreline habitat (1), Credit: USFWS

Detroit Island shoreline habitat (1), Credit: USFWS

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Restoration Documents

Document NameDocument Date
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Map View

Additional Resources

Door County Land Trust

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources


Minnesota and Wisconsin Field Office Complex

New Franken, WI | (920) 866-1710 |

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