Protecting Vital Fish Spawning Areas in the Detroit River

Great Lakes Aggregate
Great Lakes Aggregate
Detroit River, Michigan

The Detroit River has seen significant decrease in its coastal wetlands and habitats over the years due to industrialization, and, as a result, is listed as an Area of Concern (AOC). The Friends of the Detroit River (FDR) hired ECT to design and implement a fish and wildlife habitat restoration plan for the Detroit River area surrounding the 68-acre Celeron Island located at the mouth of Lake Erie.

FDR received more than $8 million in funding through Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI)‐National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to design and implement habitat restoration projects, including Celeron Island. The restoration created habitat shoals that are structurally sound, yet incorporate vegetation and aquatic habitat, to protect and promote development of vegetated backwater habitat. The restoration team constructed habitat structures for fish, turtles, snakes, amphibians, various other herpetofauna and avian species. The restoration protects existing habitat, revives areas of habitat loss, and expands high-quality habitat.

This project was a major step in completing a habitat re-construction among the islands in the lower part of the Detroit River. FDR and ECT also anticipate significant positive recreational and economic impacts that will enhance the quality of life for southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio. One such impact will be to further strengthen the Great Lakes fishery, worth an estimated $4-7 billion annually.

Client / Owner
Friends of the Detroit River
Project Timeline
  • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
  • Investigation, monitoring, design, permitting, & construction oversight
  • 4,000+ LF of habitat shoal creation
  • 3,000 LF of shoreline protected
  • 55 acres of backwater habitat protected

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