Project Helping to Restore Habitat, Clean up Detroit River Area of Concern

Project Summary: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds are helping to restore natural shoreline along the Detroit River to improve coastal habitat, respond to climate change and changing water levels in the Great Lakes and advance efforts to eliminate beneficial use impairments in the Detroit River Area of Concern.

Project name: Detroit River Area of Concern Habitat Restoration.

Location: Ecorse, Mich., just south of Detroit.

Description: Industrial development along the U.S. side of the Detroit River over the past century hardened much of the natural shoreline and destroyed coastal wetlands. The U.S. Steel project, which was specifically listed as a target in the Detroit River Area of Concern delisting criteria for beneficial use impairments,

The U.S. Steel’s Great Lakes Works facility with restored habitat on the riverbank of the Detroit River. (Photo Credit: Jeff Alexander)

The U.S. Steel’s Great Lakes Works facility with restored habitat on the riverbank of the Detroit River. (Photo Credit: Jeff Alexander)

will transform an unused industrial riverfront site into viable shoreline habitat for fish, amphibians and waterfowl. The project will restore 1,100 feet of shoreline, 1.7 acres of emergent wetlands, 750 feet of rock shoal, and create an acre of fish spawning area in the Detroit River Area of Concern. About 4.6 acres of upland habitat also will be restored adjacent to the shoreline in front of U.S. Steel’s Great Lakes Works facility; invasive plants will be removed and replaced with native vegetation.

Approximate cost of project: $1.4 million.

Resource challenge addressed: The project will help meet the need for high quality fish and wildlife habitat in the Detroit River.

Key partners (public and private): U.S. Steel, Wayne County, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Friends of the Detroit River.

Types of jobs created: Landscape architects, excavators, ecologists, biologists and botanists.

Results and accomplishments: The project is underway. When complete, it is expected to increase populations of fish, amphibians and waterfowl species that are native to the Detroit River.

Web site: www.detroitriver.org/

Originally Published: October 10, 2011

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