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Detroit River Candidate Sites for Habitat Protection and Remediation

More information about this 2002 report: http://gcmd.nasa.gov/records/GCMD_usgs_brd_glsc_detroitriver.html

EPA IAG Identification Number: DW-94793801 - 1

USGS Project Manager: Dr. Bruce A. Manny, U.S. Geological Survey

An inventory of physical characteristics of remaining habitat for fish and wildlife in Michigan waters of the Detroit River was conducted. Green areas (Candidate Sites) in and near Detroit River along the Michigan shore that were visible in natural-color, low-altitude aerial photography taken in 1996, were identified for further examination, using a Geographic Information System (GIS; "MrSID") provided by the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE).

Each candidate site was further investigated and characterized through the use of other photographic images, information provided by local area residents, and field surveys. Field surveys included establishing the geographic location of each site and observations from a boat on public waters and from public rights of way, were recorded on a field form. Private property rights were carefully respected in all aspects of the study.

One hundred and four candidate sites possessing potential for protection and remediation were investigated further by examination of existing public records, including tax statements, zoning maps, plat books, soil types, and field surveys of land forms, habitat characteristics, fish and wildlife resources observed, and photographs taken at each site.

After analysis of all available data, all candidate sites were placed into one of two categories: (1) functional habitats to be protected from impairment, and (2) impaired, nonfunctional, habitats to be remediated or enhanced. All candidate sites in each of the two categories were ranked in priority for protection or restoration using existing criteria in a Canadian report titled Survey of Candidate Sites on the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers for Potential Habitat Rehabilitation/Enhancement. Application of those criteria ensured consistent, compatible evaluation of all candidate sites in the Detroit River on the same basis.

Products of the project included: a spread sheet of 36 attributes of each the 104 candidate sites; a photo record showing at least one digital image of each site, two scientific posters showing the location, size, and attributes of the 104 candidate sites; a metadata showing all sources of information included in this project; a GIS integrating all elements of the study, and this completion report. This report ranked all 104 sites using an existing scoring system in priority of each functional and impaired site for protection and remediation, respectively, based on cost/benefit, design simplicity, partnerships, land ownership, educational potential, habitat type or purpose, existing measures available to protect the 53 functional sites and existing techniques that could remediate the 51 impaired sites.

All aspects of the study were closely tied to objectives and goals of the 1996 Detroit River Remedial Action Plan, particularly Recommendation 1 under Objective #1, to Develop a Habitat Inventory for the Detroit River Area of Concern.

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