Phase One Wildlife Monitoring Report

Posted on September 26, 2012

As expected, the initial wildlife assessment of the Upper St. Clair River shoreline along Desmond Landing in Port Huron, Michigan, has revealed a habitat area currently deficient in functional habitat.  The wildlife assessment was funded through a grant from the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service and completed by Herpetological Resource and Management, LLC, (HRM) of Chelsea, Michigan.

“We weren’t actually surprised,” said Doug Touma, chairman of the Blue Water Land Fund which owns almost one mile of St. Clair River shoreline just south of the mouth of the Black River in Port Huron.  “This land was an industrial wasteland for almost the last 100 years, and is presently void of practically all native habitat.”

The grant from the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service was the first major federal grant awarded to support local efforts at restoring habitat to the shoreline.  According to David Mifsud of HRM, “The riparian communities along the Upper St. Clair River have been severely impacted by development and channelization.”  Restoration efforts began in early September and are expected to continue until mid or late 2014. 

The Blue Water Land Fund is a supporting organization for the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, which recently received a $2,000,000 grant through the NOAA Great Lakes Habitat Restoration Program.  The Foundation will use the funds to restore and naturalize habitat along the entire stretch of shoreline it received as a gift at Christmas of 2011.  The gift came from noted philanthropist James C. Acheson. 

With this major funding secured, the partners of this restoration effort are optimistic that habitat can successfully be restored.  “This area, once restored, will represent a critical corridor for wildlife and a refuge for migrating or transient wildlife traveling along the St. Clair River,” added Mifsud.

View full copy of the wildlife assessment by HRM

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