The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is conducting an environmental investigation at the
Grosse Ile Naval Air Station (NAS)/Nike Site D-51. The site is located on the south end of the
Island of Grosse Ile. The island is 8 miles long and 2 miles wide and is located in the Detroit
River approximately 14 miles downriver from the central business district of Detroit, at the
confluence of the Detroit River and Lake Erie in Wayne County, Michigan. Two bridges provide
access to the island and both are from the westerly mainland of Michigan.
The former U.S. Naval Air Station was dedicated in September 1929 and served as a Navy
airplane, seaplane and blimp training site and U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Station during WWII. It
was comprised of approximately 670 acres of land on the southern end of the island. The
Department of Army acquired 52 acres for the establishment of an Ajax NIKE missile base D-51
(Detroit). The NIKE site operated from 1954 through 1963. The Naval Air Station was accepted
by the General Services Administration in 1969. The Grosse Ile Township acquired 549 acres in
1970 for use as a municipal airport and Commerce Park. In 1990, the former NIKE site was
converted to a wetlands research area by the USEPA. Portions of this area are maintained as a
For more information on the current investigation, contact Public Affairs at (502) 315-6769.