The Detroit River
People have long been drawn to the Detroit River for settlement and commerce. Archeological evidence suggests Native Americans lived along the river as early as A.D. 750. French exploration and the growth of Detroit during the 18th century led to exploitation of the river's resources, including lake whitefish, sturgeon, and other species; its use for transporting commercial goods; and, during the 19th century, the production of power for industry. By the early 1900s raw sewage pollution resulted in typhoid fever and cholera outbreaks. A massive duck kill caused by oil in the winter of 1948 led to protests by conservation and sportsmen's groups and ultimately tougher state water pollution laws.