Belle Isle Debris Removal Project
A man surveys large debris items with a crane in the background.
Belle Isle debris removal. Credit: Alliance for the Great Lakes

Project Dates: June 2012 - June 2016

In 2012, the NOAA Marine Debris Program supported an Alliance for the Great Lakes project to remove marine debris from Belle Isle, a park located within the Detroit River, in Detroit, MI. This ongoing project focuses on an area around the North Pier of Belle Isle that is filled with old building material from the city. This material, mostly concrete, includes protruding rebar which threatens visitors' health and safety. Local consumer debris deposited by the public on-site or washed up from the river also poses an on-going challenge for the park.

More than 100 volunteers will remove the smaller debris objects and professional contractors to remove larger concrete blocks. In total, the project's leaders expect to remove 375 tons of debris.

The Alliance for the Great Lakes also launched a local outreach and education campaign to foster a long term stewardship ethic for the park and surrounding shorelines. The campaign includes educational programming at the local zoo, installation of garbage bins, and expansion of Adopt-A-Beach programs for the island.