DETROIT – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announces a recent contract award to restore the natural ecosystem near the Clinton River mouth and in Lake St. Clair in Michigan.
This ecosystem project, awarded to Anglin Civil, LLC, Livonia, Mich., for almost $1.2 million, is funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, GLRI, managed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA. The Clinton River Mouth project will improve fish and wildlife habitat near the mouth of the Clinton River in Lake St. Clair and on the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Harley Ensign Boating Memorial site.
“We have one of the largest environmental restoration and environmental sustainability roles in the federal government,” said Lt. Col. Dennis Sugrue, district engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District. “This project, along with the other Clinton River Area of Concern projects the Detroit District is involved in, has been an excellent collaboration and is leading to some great work within the Clinton River watershed.”
The environmental restoration project is located near the mouth of the Clinton River along the Lake St. Clair shoreline in Harrison Township, Mich. The Clinton River is an Area of Concern. This project will re-establish loss of fish and wildlife habitat and degraded fish and wildlife populations in the Area of Concern.
With the majority of construction scheduled to be completed in May 2018, the project will remove invasive species, soften the shoreline and establish wetlands by planting native species to create four different habitat types that are rare in the area but provide benefits to fish and wildlife. After initial project actions are accomplished, some establishment activities will take place through May 2019.
Emergent wetland habitat is rare on the U.S. coastline of Lake St. Clair and is an important habitat type for many fish, birds, amphibians and insects. Approximately 11 acres of emergent wetland along with about five acres of three other rare habitat types will be created, which will provide nursery habitat for fish and stopover habitat for the migrating birds that fly through the area.
The Detroit District has successfully implemented restoration projects through the beneficial use of dredged material at other project sites in the Great Lakes. These project sites include Pointe Mouillee, located at the confluence of the Detroit River with Lake Erie; Cat Island, located in the bay of Green Bay off of Lake Michigan; and 21st Avenue, located at the confluence of the St. Louis River with Lake Superior. The design considerations and material placement methods for these successful projects are similar to those planned for the Clinton River Mouth project site.
The Clinton River starts in Oakland County, Michigan and flows east about 60 miles and the Clinton River mouth empties into Anchor Bay in the northwest part of Lake St. Clair. When the Clinton River mouth was developed it created a peninsular shoreline that defines Campau Bay. This shoreline orientation creates a whirlpool effect in circulation patterns and slow velocities in the bay.