Ann Arbor, MI October 18, 2013: Keep Michigan Beautiful's (KMB) 2013 President's Plaque was awarded to Mr. Gerry Santoro, Program Manager for Macomb County's Land & Water Resources, at KMBs Awards Luncheon on October 18, 2013 at Weber's Inn in Ann Arbor, MI. One of the largest projects of its kind in Michigan at $1,492,000, nearly 500 acres of coastal Great Lakes Marsh along Lake St. Clair Metropark (Metro Beach) at Lake St. Clair in Harrison Twp. have been restored because of a collaborative effort between multiple stakeholders including Macomb County, Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority, Clinton River Watershed Council and Wayne State University and the Project Team led by Dianne Martin of ASTI Environmental along with Hamilton Anderson Associates, Applied Science Inc., Stante Excavating, Inland Lakes and Kyle Builders.
Much of the current 770-acre park once served as the delta to the Clinton River and is one of the largest marshes of its kind on the US side of the Great Lakes, but has been impacted over the past 60 years due to development and other human-induced causes, such as invasive plant species that were carried from overseas in ship ballasts. The project team focused on hydrological improvements, habitat restoration and public education and outreach, mostly within the Point Rosa marsh complex south of Metropolitan Parkway.
The recreation plan included the following:
- Installation of three water control structures to regulated water levels within the marsh
- Creation of loafing structures, snake hibernacula, nesting areas, and basking areas for herpetofauna
- Construction of a boardwalk to augment the existing trail system
- Creation of a viewing area with educational displays, highlighting the lake St. Clair/coastal wetland interface
- Removal of invasive species
- Creation of open water habitat for waterfowl
- Removal of the build-up of algal mats along the natural wetland beachfront
- Construction of tern nesting platforms
Funds were secured by Macomb County and came from the $300 million federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative which was proposed by the Obama Administration and approved by Congress.