A three-year project to naturalize and restore a large portion of shoreline at Lake Erie Metropark will begin soon.
The project is funded by a $1.5 million grant from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The Metroparks’ Natural Resources Department will partner with NOAA and The Great Lakes Commission to begin work to naturalize and restore nearly 1,183 feet of hardened shoreline and improve 1.7 acres of coastal wetland at Lake Erie Metropark.
“We’re always focused on identifying new opportunities to protect and enhance our park’s natural environments, while also creating new experiences for visitors. This project does both,” said HCMA Director Amy McMillan. “We’re thankful for the support of committed partners that make projects like this possible.”
The three-year project will work to remove the shoreline rip-rap armoring and naturalize it by establishing native vegetation, controlling non-native vegetation and creating low-velocity areas protected from direct waves. Shallow pools and channels will also be created to promote fish spawning and nursery habitats.
The project will help achieve coastal wetland restoration and softening shoreline priority objectives set by the St. Clair-Detroit River System Initiative (www.scdrs.org) by improving the habitat for native species of bird, fish and other wildlife and will mitigate shoreline erosion in Michigan’s portion of the Western Lake Erie Basin.
In addition to benefiting the ecosystem and biodiversity in the area for wildlife, the project will also improve the visitor experience with more picturesque views and improved recreation opportunities such as shore-fishing and kayaking.
Visitors will start seeing equipment mobilized in the area soon. Pre-construction monitoring will begin first, with construction anticipated to follow next year. Work will continue in stages over the next two years.
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