DETROIT - An Earth Day program at the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge will focus on environmental improvements in rivers that once were so polluted, their surfaces caught fire.
Refuge manager and freshwater scientist John Hartig will discuss the progress that's been made toward cleaning up the rivers Sunday at the refuge's Humbug Marsh unit, where an open house is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Nationwide publicity about burning rivers such as the Cuyohoga near Cleveland shocked the nation in the 1960s and 1970s and helped inspire the Clean Water Act and other environmental protection laws.
It also led the U.S. and Canada to negotiate the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to focus on toxic hot spots, algae blooms and other serious threats.
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