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Large Habitat Restoration Project Completed in Detroit River AOC

Stony Island Shoal Lower Bay After

(Oct. 30, 2018) Construction is now complete on the nearly $8 million Stony Island Shoal Habitat Restoration Project in Wayne County, Mich. In terms of the number of acres protected and restored, this is the largest restoration project to date in the Detroit River Area of Concern. A total of 1,350 linear feet of rock shoal in the upper bay and 2,300 linear feet in the lower bay will now protect the 52-acre uninhabited island and surrounding emergent and submergent wetlands from erosion. The funding for this project was provided through EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Both bays are important habitat for the Detroit River and Lake Erie fish stock. The bays provide important spawning grounds for local pike populations and aid the recovery of the lake sturgeon population. Other habitat structures put in place include:

  • snake hibernation areas
  • mudpuppy habitat areas
  • turtle basking structures
  • bird nesting areas

Upper and Lower Bay Before

The project benefits local mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds, including some species listed as threatened in Michigan. The island’s wetlands and tree stand contain the river’s largest Great Blue Heron rookery with over 140 active nests. The area also provides habitat for rare and transient waterfowl.

The project completion will contribute to the removal of two Beneficial Use Impairments: Degraded Fish & Wildlife Populations and Loss of Fish & Wildlife Habitat -- significant milestones on the path toward the delisting of the Detroit River AOC.
 
The Stony Island Shoal Habitat Restoration Project was a collaborative effort among many project partners including:

  • U.S. EPA
  • NOAA
  • Michigan Office of the Great Lakes
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources
  • Detroit River Public Advisory Committee
  • Friends of the Detroit River
  • Michigan Sea Grant
    Lower Bay After

Upper Bay After