Restoration Project 

Johnson Creek Intercounty Drain Restoration Restoration

Johnson Creek is a tributary to the Middle Branch of the Rouge River. The established Johnson Intercounty Drain is 3.6 miles long with an existing right-of way along its length. It is highly channelized with spoil berms along the banks and extensive bank erosion. The Johnson Intercounty Drainage Board received a USEPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant to design the restoration of a portion of Johnson Creek designated as an intercounty drain. Johnson Creek is a tributary of the Middle Branch of the Rouge River, which it joins near Northville. The project, once implemented, is expected to increase the number and variety of native fish, mussels, and aquatic bugs and quality of wildlife habitat.

The project will Restore 6 acres of habitat along the banks of the river and Improve habitat and connect habitats within 2 miles of Johnson Creek.

Johnson Creek is the only coldwater stream in the Rouge River watershed capable of supporting the types of fish like trout and mottled sculpin that are adapted to coldwater habitats. The colder water is created by groundwater. Channelization and a buildup of sediment has contributed to fish and wildlife habitat that lacks the diversity needed to support productive fish and wildlife populations. In addition, the conditions contribute to low dissolved oxygen concentrations in the waters of Johnson Creek, which is one of the most important indicators of water quality for animals that live in its waters. Dissolved oxygen is necessary for the survival of fish, mussels, and aquatic bugs.

Funding and Parnters

This project was funded by the U. S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office as part of an approximately $785,100 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant to the Johnson Creek Intercounty Drainage Board for design in 2020 (Grant # GL-00E02919-0) with implementation funded through an approximately $5.1 Million GLRI grant in 2022 (Grant # GL - 00E03261-0). Partners in this project include the U.S. EPA, GLRI, Johnson Creek Intercounty Drain Board, Wayne County, Wasntenaw County and the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development.

Where and When

The project location is in Salem Twp. and Northville Twp. and is upstream of Napier Rd. to downstream of 6 Mile Rd. Project design began in 2020 with construction anticipated to start in late 2023.

Anticipated Outcomes

Restoration and enhancement of 2 miles within the 3.6-mile designated drain Restoration and enhancement of 6 acres of area along the banks of the river Restoration of fish and wildlife habitats to improve future populations within the creekshed.

Photo History of Project:

Project Location

Conditions Before Restoration

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Phone | 734-768-2180

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