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Nankin Lake Habitat Restoration

The Nankin Lake Habitat Restoration project will Restore ecosystem function to Nankin Lake, increasing aquatic diversity throughout the Rouge River for fish species and other native aquatic life. The project will improve stormwater management and water quality along the Rouge River.

Over the years, Nankin Lake, an impoundment located in Livonia, Michigan, along the Middle Branch of the Rouge River, has slowly filled in with sediment. Due to this buildup, the lake has become shallow in many areas and has visible depositional areas and islands as a result, decreasing the total acreage of water and habitat present by approximately 1.5 acres. Sedimentation has also degraded shallow water habitat. Invasion of phragmites and narrow-leaf cattail in shallow water habitat has further degraded the aquatic habitat. Overall, fish productivity and the carrying capacity of the lake have declined dramatically. Flow during storm events effects the impoundment and downstream habitats significantly. The ability to reduce damaging storm flows will significantly aid in creating and maintaining habitat in the Middle Rouge River. The project will restore the ecosystem functions the lake provides; including valuable spawning, nursery, and forage habitat for fishes and other aquatic species of all life stages.


Funding and Parnters

This project is funded by the U. S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office through a portion of an almost $8.7M Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant received by Wayne County for 3 projects (Nankin Lake, the Oxbow at The Henry Ford and the Fishway at the Henry Ford Estate) Grant #GL-00E02040-0. Partners in this project include the U.S. EPA, GLRI, Wayne County, Wayne County Parks and the Rouge River Advisory Council (RRAC)

Where and When

Nankin Lake is located in Livonia, Michigan along the Middle Branch of the Rouge River. Project design began in 2016 with construction starting in the spring of 2022 and an anticipated completion date of 2023. 

Anticipated Outcomes


3 acres of in-lake habitat created/restored including open water habitat, deep-water habitat, spawning habitat and emergent/submergent habitat 1 acres of riparian habitat restored ~30,000 cubic yards of sediment removed. 20 fish habitat structures installed including felled trees and boulder clusters. 3 acres of invasive species control.

Photo History of Project:


Conditions Before Restoration



Conceptual Design

Photo Gallery of Restoration Activities


Construction sign announcing project





Sediment collection bags being laid out





Dredge equipment used to remove sediment





Dredging and sediment area





Sediment is stored in bags where it is dewatered before being desposed of in a landfill


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Phone | 734-768-2180

46036 Michigan Ave., Suite 126 | Canton, Michigan 48188