October 6, 2014

New Wayne State University museum exhibit examines history, ecology of Detroit River

Follow the Lines: Environmental Legacy, Health & Fishing the Detroit River opens Oct. 8

The exhibit premiere of "Follow the Lines: Environmental Legacy, Health & Fishing the Detroit River" will open Oct. 8 in the Gordon L. Grosscup Museum of Anthropology at Wayne State University.

This multimedia exhibit invites you to explore how the industrialization that greatly improved our modern way of life also created lasting harms, its impacts on health and the environment from past to present, and how you can shape a safer future.

Part of an ongoing public-private partnership forged to examine urban health and anglers, the exhibit grew from studies by Wayne State University anthropologists collaborating with the Michigan Department of Community Health, the Centers for Disease Control, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Fred and Barbara Erb Family Foundation.

The study explored the web of health and environment woven by industrial production, toxic chemicals accumulating in rivers and fish, and local fishing practices. Fishing plays a strong role in transmitting family values across generations, building community and serves as an important food source for some. While progress has been made in cleaning the river, continued care is necessary to reduce the health risks from the legacy of toxic chemicals.

Rather than tell attendees to avoid fish, the exhibit highlights best practices for safe use of Detroit's natural resources. The exhibit takes the study's anthropological insights as a starting point for encouraging proactive public education about fishing and eating techniques to ensure the continued vitality of Detroit's fishing traditions and the health of its anglers.

Detroit's location on the river helped it grow into a major industrial center. Exhibit visitors will learn about the shared benefits and responsibilities inherent in this industrial legacy and how to join community responses to the environmental and health challenges it presents.  

The exhibit is free and open to the public. 

The Gordon L. Grosscup Museum of Anthropology, located on the first floor of Old Main at 4841 Cass Avenue on Wayne State's campus, is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call the anthropology department at 313-577-2935 or email followthelines@wayne.edu.

To view a photo gallery of the exhibit, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/waynestateuniversity/sets/72157648053702408/


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