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ECORSE, MI-The US Fish and Wildlife Service recently accepted the donation of 21-acreMud Island, located in the Detroit River, into the National Wildlife Refuge System.The donation was made by National Steel Corp.

John Maczuzak, the company’s president, says he had offers from developers to buy the propertyfor marina or high-rise office projects, but turned them down.

“I didn’t think development was appropriate for the island. This puts agreat focus on the rebirth of the Detroit River,” Maczuzak says.

Mud Island will be added to the adjacent 304-acre Wyandotte NationalWildlife Refuge.

“Refuge land is important to people too, because we all need wild places,” said BillHartwig, regional service director of the wildlife service. “And we know protecting these places is a job the Service can’t do alone, soit was very heartening to see a company like National Steel and our otherpartners work together to make the Mud Island donation a reality.”

The island has been used for many purposes over the years, but has been mostwell known as a stop-off point for prohibition-era bootleggers bringingliquor from Canada into the Detroit area.

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