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Sustainability 2010, 2(9), 3110-3128; doi:10.3390/su2093110

Designing a Sustainable Future through Creation of North America’s only International Wildlife Refuge

1
Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 9311 Groh Road, Grosse Ile, MI 48138, USA
2
Sustainable Scotland Network, Wallace House, 17-21 Maxwell Place, Stirling, FK8 1JU, Scotland, UK
3
Water Science and Technology, Environment Canada, Canada Centre for Inland Waters, 867 Lakeshore Road, P.O. Box 5050, Burlington, Ontario L7R 4A6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 July 2010 / Revised: 9 September 2010 / Accepted: 13 September 2010 / Published: 21 September 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Futures)
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Abstract

In 2001, the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge was established based on the principles of conservation and sustainability. The refuge has grown from 49.1 ha in 2001 to over 2,300 ha in 2010. Agreement on a compelling vision for a sustainable future was necessary to rally stakeholders and move them forward together. Project examples include: lake sturgeon and common tern restoration; soft shoreline engineering; ecotourism; sustainable redevelopment of a brownfield; and indicator reporting. Key success factors include: a consensus long-term vision; a multi-stakeholder process that achieves cooperative learning; strong coupling of monitoring/research programs with management; implementing actions consistent with adaptive management; measuring and celebrating successes; quantifying benefits; building capacity; and developing the next generation of sustainability practitioners and entrepreneurs.
Keywords: sustainable development; adaptive management; international wildlife refuge sustainable development; adaptive management; international wildlife refuge
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hartig, J.H.; Robinson, R.S.; Zarull, M.A. Designing a Sustainable Future through Creation of North America’s only International Wildlife Refuge. Sustainability 2010, 2, 3110-3128.

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