Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Detroit River is about 51 km (32 miles) long and 1 to 4 km (0.5 to 2.5 miles) wide in the Great Lakes system. The name comes from French Rivière du Détroit, i.e. "River of the Strait". The "Strait" referred to in the name of the river is the strait between Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie. Indeed the river flows between these two lakes. The boundary between Canada and the United States of America passes through the river lengthwise. Its elevation is 175 meters (579 feet) above sea level.
Islands in the Detroit River include Peche Island, Belle Isle, Zug Island, Fighting Island , Grosse Ile, and Bois Blanc (a.k.a. Boblo) Island. The islands of the lower Detroit River are part of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge . It is spanned by the Ambassador Bridge and two tunnels connecting Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario one for cars and one for trains. Two bridges connect Grosse Ile to the mainland USA and one bridge connects Belle Isle to Detroit.
The Detroit River supplies the drinking water for over 5 million people and was designated an American Heritage River in 1998. A shipping channel for the Great Lakes Waterway system is maintained in the river. The river flows past the American towns of Detroit, River Rouge, Ecorse, Wyandotte, Grosse Ile, Riverview, Trenton, and Gibraltar and the Canadian towns of Windsor, LaSalle and Amherstburg.
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