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Environment & Climate Change

Detroit City Council wants to make Detroit River a World Heritage Site

The Detroit skyline as seen from across the Detroit River.
Lester Graham
/
Michigan Radio

Detroit City Council is trying to get the Detroit River included in a list of world heritage sites alongside the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge, and Yellowstone National Park.

Local activists from Detroit and Windsor are pushing The United Nations Education and Scientific Cultural Organization to recognize the local landmark.

Activists from the Detroit River Project have been calling on the U.N. to make the river a World Heritage Site.

The organization has recognized two dozen sites in the United States and over 1,000 sites worldwide.

Councilmember Fred Durhal III says the Detroit River is the lifeblood of the city.

"It’s also the gateway for generations of African Americans who came here and gained freedom through the Underground Railroad," he said. "The Underground Railroad was the first multiracial and multicultural civil rights monument in America."

Leaders of the Detroit River Project say the river wouldn’t be eligible for acknowledgment until 2027.

In addition to calling on the U.N. for recognition, the resolution committed to acknowledging World Heritage Day on April 19.

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