Stream and Wetland Restoration Provides Habitat and Improves Hydrology

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Southfield, Michigan

Tamarack Creek, a tributary of Evans Creek in the Rouge River watershed, received uncontrolled stormwater runoff due to modern development. The creek had been damaged by sedimentation of stream habitat, and the excessive velocity of water flow during large rain events destabilized woody debris and gravel substrates that served as fish and macroinvertebrate habitat.

The Alliance of Rouge Communities and the City of Southfield hired ECT to design and execute a stream and wetland restoration plan. The plan developed included stream restoration efforts to increase channel and habitat stability by altering the channel cross-section and planting native riparian plant communities along both sides of the channel. Streambank grading was proposed to create a two-stage channel capable of conveying flood flows on stable flood terraces adjacent to the channel. The flood terraces were planted with native riparian vegetation, including trees, shrubs, and live stakes. Cross-vanes and rock riffles were also installed in the creek bottom to stabilize the streambed and create habitat diversity. The implementation of the plan addresses three of the Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) associated with fish and wildlife habitat in the Rouge River, namely Degraded Fish and Wildlife Populations, Degradation of Benthos, and Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat. Addressing these BUIs will facilitate the delisting the Rouge River watershed as an Area of Concern (AOC) as designated by the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA).

This project was funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

Client / Owner
Alliance of Rouge Communities and the City of Southfield
Project Timeline
2018 – Ongoing
Highlights
  • 2.2 acres of wetland restored or created
  • 1,800 linear square feet of stream corridor were restored, and
  • 20 habitat structures were installed
Awards
  • American Public Works Association (APWA) Michigan Chapter and Detroit Metro Region 2022 Project of the Year Award in the Environment $1-5 M Category
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