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Wetlands


Representatives of the Rouge Project have developed numerous technical reports concerning the ongoing wetlands program. See also Rouge Project Presentations on the Wetlands Program in this website for more general information on the this program. To view reports that specify other topics the rouge project addresses, click on Wetlands, Watershed Management, Geographic Information Systems/Data Management, Non-point Source Pollution, Illicit Discharges/Onsite Sewage Disposal Systems, Financial and Institutional Arrangements, Modeling and Monitoring, and Combined Sewer Overflows for general information on the program.
  1. A Wetland Protection Plan for the Headwaters of Johnson Creek and the Middle Rouge River
  2. A Wetland Protection Plan for the Lower One Subwatershed of the Rouge River
  3. Conceptual Design of Wetland Management Systems
  4. Development of WMI Grant Program
  5. Evaluation of NPS Control from Wetlands
  6. Identifying Wetland Restoration Opportunities in the Rouge River Watershed
  7. Inkster Wetlands
  8. Interim Final Report: Wetland Biological Monitoring Program
  9. Literature Review--Wetlands as a Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Measure
  10. Operational and Maintenance Manual for Wetlands
  11. Oxbow Restoration Project: Reconnecting to Our River and Our Habitat
  12. Progress Report on Evaluation of NPS Control from Wetlands
  13. Rouge Oxbow Restoration Project
  14. Rouge River Gateway Project: Restoration of an Urban River
  15. Selection of Appropriate Wetland Nonpoint Source Pollution Abatement Locations
  16. The Effectiveness of Freshwater Wetlands for Nonpoint Source Pollution Control in the Rouge River Watershed
  17. The Effectiveness of Freshwater Wetlands for Nonpoint Source Pollution Control in the Rouge River Watershed
  18. The Effectiveness of Freshwater Wetlands for Nonpoint Source Pollution Control in the Rouge River Watershed
  19. Wetland Biological Monitoring Program - 1996
  20. Wetland Biological Monitoring Program - 1997
  21. Wetland Biological Monitoring Program - 1998
  22. Wetland Biological Monitoring Program - 1999
  23. Wetland Biological Monitoring Program - 2000
  24. Wetland Biological Monitoring Program - 2001
  25. Wetland Biological Monitoring Program - 2002
  26. Wetland Biological Monitoring Program Field Sampling Plan

A Wetland Protection Plan for the Headwaters of Johnson Creek and the Middle Rouge River

Donald Tilton, Bridget Fahey & David Merkey

Technical Memorandum, October 1997, 66 pages, Order Number: NPS-TM25 **

The protection of wetlands along the Rouge River has been identified as a potential best management practice (BMP) by the Rouge Project, a federally funded initiative designed to improve the health of the Rouge watershed. This document addresses wetland protection in the Middle 1 Subwatershed of the Rouge River, a subwatershed that contains the headwaters to the Rouge River as well as Johnson Creek, the only cold water stream in the entire Rouge watershed. Wetlands provide a number of functions that are beneficial to humans. Six benefits provided by wetlands that are of interest to stakeholders in the Middle 1 have been identified: floral and wildlife habitat, fish and herpetile habitat, flood water storage, nonpoint source pollution abatement, shoreline and stream bank protection, and aesthetic and recreational opportunities. This study determines which wetlands are providing the functions of interest, and creates a wetland protection plan designed to protect both the wetlands themselves and their functions. The wetlands in the Middle 1 Subwatershed were evaluated using the Rapid Assessment Method (RAM), a method designed to quickly identify important wetlands by using indicators to determine what functions each wetland performs. Furthermore, this plan outlines simple steps that a community can take to protect and enhance wetland resources.

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A Wetland Protection Plan for the Lower One Subwatershed of the Rouge River

Dr. Donald L. Tilton, Karen Shaw, Brian Ballard, and Chip Thomas

Supplemental Report, February 2004, 89 pages, Order Number: RPO-NPS-SR28 **

The protection of wetlands in the Rouge River watershed has been identified as a potential best management practice (BMP) by the Rouge Project, a federally funded initiative designed to improve the health of the Rouge Watershed. This document addresses wetland protection in the Lower 1 Subwatershed of the Rouge River, a subwatershed that comprises the southwestern headwaters of the Rouge River.

Wetlands provide a number of functions and values which are beneficial to humans. Eight benefits provided by wetlands which are of interest to stakeholders in the Lower 1 Subwatershed of the Rouge River have been identified: floral and wildlife habitat, fish and herpetile habitat, flood water storage, runoff attenuation, water quality protection, shoreline and stream bank protection, aesthetic and recreational opportunities, and groundwater recharge. This study assesses which wetlands are providing the functions and values of interest, and creates a wetland protection plan designed to protect both the wetlands themselves and their functions and values. The wetlands in the Lower 1 Subwatershed were evaluated using the Rapid Assessment Method (RAM), a method designed to quickly identify important wetlands by using indicators to assess which functions each wetland performs. Furthermore, the wetland protection plan outlines simple steps that a community can take to protect and enhance wetland resources.

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Conceptual Design of Wetland Management Systems

Douglas Denison, Gretchen Messer, Catherine Riseng, and Donald Tilton

Technical Memorandum, March 1995, 10 pages, Order Number: NPS-TM37.00 **

The Rouge Project is a federally funded initiative developing demonstration projects to evaluate urban NPS pollution reduction BMPs for the Rouge River Watershed. These demonstrations will in sum improve the quality of storm water runoff to the Rouge River. The function of wetland filtration for water quality improvement has been recognized as one potential BMP. Wetlands increase storm water detention capacity, increase storm water attenuation, moderate low flows, and improve water quality by removing nutrients, sediments and metals. The wetland demonstration project utilizes existing, enhanced, and created wetlands to demonstrate the value and effectiveness of wetlands in treating storm water runoff. This evaluation will identify pollutants removed by the demonstration wetlands, the efficiency of the removal processes and the effects of sediments on this removal efficiency. Design criteria for each of the wetland study areas were developed with similar design elements to provide comparable experimental data that can be related to known design parameters. The contributing storm sewer area for each study area has been defined and modeled so that the effect of a given wetland area on water quality and quantity can be determined.

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Development of WMI Grant Program

Douglas Denison and Donald Tilton

Technical Memorandum, May 1995, 5 pages, Order Number: NPS-TM35.00 **

Waste Management, Inc. (WMI) received a permit from the MDNR to fill wetlands for the development of a sanitary landfill located in Van Buren Township. One of the conditions included in the permit states that WMI will provide a grant to Wayne County for the construction of new wetlands in the Lower or Middle Rouge River. The wetlands will be created to improve the water quality of the Rouge River. Three wetland systems were designed and a consensus was reached by the regulatory agencies. All designs meet the requirements of the permit conditions as described in this document.

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Evaluation of NPS Control from Wetlands

Douglas Denison

Technical Memorandum, June 1997, 10 pages, Order Number: NPS-TM17.00 **

This document summarizes the wetlands demonstration project activities, including wetlands designs and implementation activities required to implement the Rouge River wetlands wet weather management demonstration system.

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Identifying Wetland Restoration Opportunities in the Rouge River Watershed

Donald L. Tilton

Paper, June 1996, 4 pages, Order Number: Urbretro98-03 **

This report discusses factors to be considered in identifying wetland restoration opportunities in an urban river watershed. The discussion is based on a recent study of wetland restoration opportunities in the Rouge River Watershed in Southeast Michigan funded by the USEPA through the Rouge Project. Wetland ecosystem restoration or creation in urban settings presents certain unique challenges compared to similar projects in rural or undeveloped areas. Identifying appropriate sites for wetland restoration in urban settings requires special consideration of the unique characteristics of urban environments. Environmental challenges frequently encountered in urban settings include contaminated sources of water, contaminated soils, severe hydrologic conditions, unsuitable adjacent land uses, and severely disrupted plant and animal communities in existing wetlands. Social and economic issues that influence urban wetland restoration projects include opportunities for recreational uses of restored wetlands and environmental education in wetland areas. When wetland restoration projects account for these factors, remarkable wetland ecosystem can be restored in urban areas.

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Inkster Wetlands

Project Profile, June 1999, 2 pages, Order Number: WET-00 **

The Inkster Wetlands project was designed to demonstrate control of nonpoint sources of pollution and wildlife habitat restoration in an urban setting. This project profile is a summary of the results of a grant funded effort that focuses on the demonstration aspects of the project.

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Interim Final Report: Wetland Biological Monitoring Program

Douglas Denison, William Brodovich and Gary Crawford

Task Product Memorandum, July 1996, 40 pages, Order Number: NPS-TPM36.00 **

The goal of the wetland demonstration project is to evaluate the effectiveness of wetlands in the treatment of stormwater. The wetland demonstration project utilizes existing, enhanced, and created wetlands to demonstrate the value and effectiveness of wetlands in treating stormwater runoff. The biological monitoring program is intended to measure the impacts of stormwater runoff on the biological communities of pollution abatement wetlands that have been selected to meet the objectives of the Wetland Biological Monitoring Program.

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Literature Review--Wetlands as a Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Measure

Douglas Denison and Don Tilton

Technical Memorandum, August 1993, 18 pages, Order Number: NPS-TM12.01 ***

This memorandum is a literature review of articles on wetlands systems for the treatment of storm water runoff. Included is a review of general wetland ecology, wetland ecosystem processes, and the use of wetlands for the water quantity and water quality control of storm water. Sections included are: storm water and NPS pollution; general wetland ecology; nutrient cycling, wetland systems for wastewater treatment and NPS pollution; and natural versus created wetlands for NPS pollution control. A discussion of the Rouge River water quality is included.

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Operational and Maintenance Manual for Wetlands

Douglas Denison and Paul Evanoff

Task Product Memorandum, July 1996, 32 pages, Order Number: NPS-TPM37.00 **

This document provides a summary of the specific details of the operational and maintenance (O & M) program for each wetland system. The O & M document addresses the following requirements: schedule of inspections; maintenance practices (i.e. mowing, cleaning inlets/outlets, vegetation, sediment accumulation); and documentation of inspection services. Representative forms have been provided for O & M documentation.

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Oxbow Restoration Project: Reconnecting to Our River and Our Habitat

John O'Meara, Jane Tesner, and Razik Alsaigh

Paper, February 2002, 11 pages, Order Number: WATERSHED2002-03 **

The main objective of the Oxbow Restoration Project is to enhance the ecological viability of this western-most Oxbow by creating valuable fish and wildlife habitat, restore functioning riverine wetlands that have been lost due to channelization and improve water quality. Secondary objectives include additional flood storage, providing educational/interpretative opportunities and improved aesthetics of the channel and upland island. The project will be completed in three phases: Phase I - Oxbow Restoration; Phase II - Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Modifications; and, Phase III - Open Cut Connection to the Rouge. An existing storm sewer will provide river water to the Oxbow during Phase I and a siphon will connect the wetlands on both sides of the existing CSO until Phase II.

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Progress Report on Evaluation of NPS Control from Wetlands

Douglas Denison

Task Product Memorandum, March 1998, 17 pages, Order Number: NPS-TPM53.00 **

The Rouge Project is a federally funded initiative with the objective of developing demonstration projects to evaluate a variety of urban nonpoint source pollution reduction best management practices (BMPs) for the Rouge River Watershed. These demonstration will in sum improve the quality of storm water runoff to the Rouge River. The function of wetland filtration for water quality improvement has been recognized as one potential BMP. Wetlands increase storm water detention capacity, increase storm water attenuation, moderate low flows, and improve water quality by removing nutrients, sediments and metals. The goal of the WETL-1, wetland demonstration project, was to evaluate the effectiveness of wetlands in the treatment of storm water. The wetland demonstration project utilized existing, enhanced, and created wetlands to demonstrate the value and effectiveness of wetlands in treating storm water runoff. Future evaluations will identify pollutants removed by the demonstration wetlands, the efficiency of the removal processes and the effects of sediments on this removal efficiency. This document summarizes the WETL-1 demonstration project activities including wetland designs, operation and maintenance activities, monitoring results and potential benefits of the implementation activities for the Rouge River wetlands wet weather management demonstration system.

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Rouge Oxbow Restoration Project

Project Profile, November 2000, 2 pages, Order Number: Oxbow *

The Rouge Oxbow Restoration Project is a three-phase effort that will help to restore valuable fish, wildlife and wetlands located at Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. The project also includes an educational program that will be developed following completion of the restoration work.

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  • Oxbow (1.26 MB - PDF file)

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Rouge River Gateway Project: Restoration of an Urban River

Kelly A. Cave, James E. Murray, Edward J. Bagale, Sam B. Lovall, Nancy J. Andrews, Carl R. Johnson

Paper, February 2002, 25 pages, Order Number: WATERSHED2002-02 **

The Rouge Gateway Master Plan aims to create connections where barriers now exist. The plan includes a number of projects that will restore relationships between the Rouge and its natural and social systems. Ecosystems are strengthened by projects like the greening of the Rouge Manufacturing Complex, restoration of an oxbow at Greenfield Village, bank stabilization at Henry Ford Community College, and a fish ladder around a historic landmark dam at the Ford Fair Lane Estate. Detroit Water and Sewerage Department plans to cover a twelve-acre concrete CSO storage facility with a songbird meadow. The Army Corps of Engineers is studying models for partial removal of the concrete channel to create new fish habitat and natural riverbanks. These efforts will restore the Rouge as a shimmering ribbon of water that is home to diverse wildlife and indigenous plant species.

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Selection of Appropriate Wetland Nonpoint Source Pollution Abatement Locations

Douglas Denison, Gretchen Messer, Catherine Riseng, and Donald Tilton

Technical Memorandum, December 1994, 61 pages, Order Number: NPS-TM36.00 ***

The Rouge Project is a federally funded initiative with the objective of developing demonstration projects to evaluate a variety of urban NPS pollution reduction BMPs for the Rouge River Watershed. These demonstrations will in sum improve the quality of storm water runoff to the Rouge River. The function of wetland filtration for water quality improvement has been recognized as one potential BMP. Wetlands increase storm water detention capacity, increase storm water attenuation, moderate low flows, and improve water quality by removing nutrients, sediments and metals. The wetland demonstration project utilizes existing, enhanced, and created wetlands to demonstrate the value and effectiveness of wetlands in treating storm water runoff. This document provides a summary of the existing biological and physical conditions of each of the wetland and upland areas designated for consideration for the Rouge Project wetlands wet weather management demonstration system. To assist in the selection of practical and feasible sites for pollution abatement using wetland sites, field surveys were conducted to identify topography, soil types, land use, utilities, natural features, and hydrologic setting. Site maps are included.

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The Effectiveness of Freshwater Wetlands for Nonpoint Source Pollution Control in the Rouge River Watershed

Donald L. Tilton

Paper, June 1998, 10 pages, Order Number: WEF98-05.00 **

The Rouge Project is a federally funded initiative with the objective of developing demonstration projects to evaluate a variety of urban nonpoint source pollution (NPS) reduction best management practices (BMPs) for the Rouge River Watershed. These demonstrations will improve the quality of storm water runoff to the Rouge River. The function of wetland filtration for water quality improvement has been recognized as one potential BMP. Wetlands increase storm water detention capacity, increase storm water attenuation, moderate low flows, and improve water quality by removing nutrients, sediments and metals. The goal of this wetland demonstration project was to evaluate the effectiveness of freshwater wetlands in the treatment of storm water.

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The Effectiveness of Freshwater Wetlands for Nonpoint Source Pollution Control in the Rouge River Watershed

Douglas L. Denison and Donald L. Tilton

Paper, June 1998, 10 pages, Order Number: WEF98-04.00 **

The Rouge Project is a federally funded initiative with the objective of developing demonstration projects to evaluate a variety of urban nonpoint source pollution (NPS) reduction best management practices (BMPs) for the Rouge River Watershed. These demonstrations will in sum improve the quality of storm water runoff to the Rouge River. The function of wetland filtration for water quality improvement has been recognized as one potential BMP. Wetlands increase storm water detention capacity, increase storm water attenuation, moderate low flows, and improve water quality by removing nutrients, sediments and metals. The goal of this wetland demonstration project was to evaluate the effectiveness of freshwater wetlands in the treatment of storm water. The wetland demonstration project (WETL-1) utilized existing, enhanced, and created wetlands to demonstrate the value and effectiveness of wetlands in treating storm water runoff.

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The Effectiveness of Freshwater Wetlands for Nonpoint Source Pollution Control in the Rouge River Watershed

Donald L. Tilton and Douglas L. Denison

Paper, June 1998, 8 pages, Order Number: WEFSPEC98-04 **

Wetlands increase storm water detention capacity, increase storm water attenuation, moderate low flows, and improve water quality by removing nutrients, sediments and metals. The goal of this wetland demonstration project was to evaluate the effectiveness of freshwater wetlands in the treatment of storm water. The wetland demonstration project (WETL-1) utilized existing, enhanced, and created wetlands to demonstrate the value and effectiveness of wetlands in treating storm water runoff. Future evaluations will identify pollutants removed by the demonstration wetlands, the efficiency of the removal processes and the effects of sediments on this removal efficiency. This manuscript summarizes the WETL-1 activities including wetland design, construction, and monitoring required to implement the Rouge River wetlands demonstration project.

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Wetland Biological Monitoring Program - 1996

William Brodovich and Douglas Dension

Task Product Memorandum, July 1997, 41 pages, Order Number: RPO-NPS-TPM48 **

This report summarizes the 1996 results of vegetation monitoring along two transects in the floodplain of the Lower River Rouge in Wayne County, Michigan. The transects were established in 1995 in order to monitor changes in vegetation caused by the construction of berms and outlet structures designed to temporarily retain and treat urban stormwater prior to its release into the Lower Rouge. The 1995 monitoring results, issued as Rouge Project Task Product Memorandum, "Interim Final Report: Wetland Biological Monitoring Program," provided baseline (preconstruction) floristic data. The present report is the first assessment of the impact of the post-construction retention system of floodplain vegetation. The results of 1996 monitoring indicate that the new stormwater retention system has had no discernible impact on vegetation in the floodplain thus far, other than the conversion of some forested areas to planted grass-a consequence of construction activities. The composition of plant species in the transect plots in 1996 was essentially the same as in 1995. Consequently, the wetland indicator averages of the vegetation (which are indirect measures of hydrology) were unchanged from 1995.

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Wetland Biological Monitoring Program - 1997

Gary Crawford, William Brodovich, and Douglas Denison

Task Product Memorandum, May 1998, 24 pages, Order Number: NPS-TPM57.00 **

This report summarizes the 1997 results of vegetation monitoring along two transects in the floodplain of the Lower River Rouge in Wayne County, Michigan. The transects were established in 1995 in order to monitor changes in vegetation caused by the construction of berms and outlet structures designed to temporarily retain and treat stormwater prior to its release into the Lower Rouge. The 1995 and 1996 monitoring results, issued as Rouge Project Task Product Memorandum "Interim Final Report: Wetland Biological Monitoring Program," provided baseline (preconstruction) floristic data. This report is the third in a series of annual wetland monitoring reports whose goals is to chronicle changes in plant and aquatic macroinvertebrate communities brought about by recent alterations to the hydrology of the Lower Rouge River floodplain. The goal is to monitor the effectiveness of using the floodplain wetlands to improve water quality.

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Wetland Biological Monitoring Program - 1998

Gary Crawford, John Fody, and Douglas Denison

Task Product Memorandum, May 1999, 71 pages, Order Number: NPS-TPM61.00 **

This report summarizes the 1998 results of vegetation monitoring along transects in the floodplain of the Lower River Rouge in Wayne County, Michigan. The transects were established in 1995 in order to monitor changes in vegetation caused by the construction of berms and outlet structures designed to temporarily retain and treat stormwater prior to its release into the Lower Rouge. The 1995 and 1996 monitoring results, issued as Rouge Project Task Product Memorandum (Interim Final Report: Wetland Biological Monitoring Program) Nonpoint Work Plan No. WETL 1, Task No. 5, provided baseline (pre-construction) floristic data. This report is the fourth in a series of annual wetland monitoring reports whose goals is to chronicle changes in plant and aquatic macroinvertebrate communities brought about by recent alterations to the hydrology of the Lower Rouge River floodplain. The goal is to monitor the effectiveness of using the floodplain wetlands to improve water quality.

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Wetland Biological Monitoring Program - 1999

Gary Crawford, John Fody, and Douglas Denison

Task Product Memorandum, February 2004, 67 pages, Order Number: RPO-NPS-TPM66 **

This report summarizes the 1999 results of vegetation monitoring along two transects in the floodplain of the Lower River Rouge in Wayne County, Michigan. The transects were established in 1995 in order to monitor changes in vegetation caused by the construction of berms and outlet structures designed to temporarily retain and treat stormwater prior to its release into the Lower Rouge. The 1995 and 1996 monitoring results, issued as Rouge Project Task Product Memorandum (Interim Final Report: Wetland Biological Monitoring Program) Nonpoint Work Plan No. WETL 1, Task No. 5, provided baseline (pre-construction) floristic data. This report is the fifth in a series of annual wetland monitoring reports whose goals is to chronicle changes in plant and aquatic macroinvertebrate communities brought about by recent alterations to the hydrology of the Lower Rouge River floodplain. The goal is to monitor the effectiveness of using the floodplain wetlands to improve water quality.

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Wetland Biological Monitoring Program - 2000

John Fody, Gary Crawford, and Douglas Denison

Task Product Memorandum, March 2004, 67 pages, Order Number: RPO-NPS-TPM65 **

This report summarizes the 2000 results of vegetation monitoring along two transects in the floodplain of the Lower River Rouge in Wayne County, Michigan. The transects were established in 1995 in order to monitor changes in vegetation caused by the construction of berms and outlet structures designed to temporarily retain and treat stormwater prior to its release into the Lower Rouge. The 1995 and 1996 monitoring results, issued as Rouge Project Task Product Memorandum (Interim Final Report: Wetland Biological Monitoring Program) Nonpoint Work Plan No. WETL 1, Task No. 5, provided baseline (pre-construction) floristic data. This report is the sixth in a series of annual wetland monitoring reports whose goals is to chronicle changes in plant and aquatic macroinvertebrate communities brought about by recent alterations to the hydrology of the Lower Rouge River floodplain. The goal is to monitor the effectiveness of using the floodplain wetlands to improve water quality.

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Wetland Biological Monitoring Program - 2001

John Fody, Terry Heatlie, and Douglas Denison

Task Product Memorandum, April 2002, 57 pages, Order Number: RPO-NPS-TPM64 **

This report summarizes the 2001 results of vegetation monitoring along two transects in the floodplain of the Lower River Rouge in Wayne County, Michigan. The transects were established in 1995 in order to monitor changes in vegetation caused by the construction of berms and outlet structures designed to temporarily retain and treat stormwater prior to its release into the Lower Rouge. The 1995 and 1996 monitoring results, issued as Rouge Project Task Product Memorandum (Interim Final Report: Wetland Biological Monitoring Program) Nonpoint Work Plan No. WETL 1, Task No. 5, provided baseline (pre-construction) floristic data. This report is the seventh in a series of annual wetland monitoring reports whose goals is to chronicle changes in plant and aquatic macroinvertebrate communities brought about by recent alterations to the hydrology of the Lower Rouge River floodplain. The goal is to monitor the effectiveness of using the floodplain wetlands to improve water quality.

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Wetland Biological Monitoring Program - 2002

John Fody, Terry Heatlie, and Douglas Denison

Task Product Memorandum, January 2003, 63 pages, Order Number: RPO-NPS-TPM67 **

This 2002 report is the eighth in a series of annual wetland monitoring reports for a wetland demonstration project located in the City of Inkster, Michigan. The goal of this report is to chronicle changes in plant and aquatic macroinvertebrate communities brought about by recent alterations to the hydrology of the Lower Rouge River floodplain.

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Wetland Biological Monitoring Program Field Sampling Plan

Douglas Denison

Field Sampling Plan, September 1995, 134 pages, Order Number: RPO-NPS-FSP12 **

The field sampling plan provides a detailed description of the field procedures to be implemented during the wetland biological monitoring program. Methods, sampling sites, and data handling processes are described in the plan with standard operating procedures (SOPs) included. The biological monitoring program is intended to measure the impacts of stormwater runoff on the biological communities of pollution abatement wetlands. The monitoring program will be completed to assess the success of vegetative establishment and the changes in the community caused by introduction of stormwater runoff. Field studies include plant surveys, wildlife observations, and both qualitative and quantitative macroinvertebrate surveys.

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Last Updated: 5/18/02

Please address all comments and suggestions about the contents of this Web page to rougeweb@co.wayne.mi.us.

The Rouge River National Wet Weather Demonstration Project is funded, in part, by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Grants #XP995743-01, -02, -03, -04, -05, -06, -08 and C-264000-01.