ENDANGERED MUSSEL SURVEY
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) was seeking approval from state agencies to replace the M-139 (Main Street) bridge over the St. Joseph River in Niles, Michigan (Berrien County). Because protected mussel species are known to exist in this area from historical records, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) requested that a survey be conducted.
ASTI was hired by MDOT to conduct the survey and relocate all native mussels upstream of the impact area, using DNR's stranded mussel protocol. Due to the depth of the river at the project location, ASTI subcontracted licensed divers to collect the mussels for identification and relocation. Divers located 138 native mussels from the project area. ASTI staff identified and measured all specimens and then relocated the mussels to safe, suitable habitat outside of the project area.