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Tamarack Creek Stream and Wetland Restoration

The Tamarack Creek Stream & Wetland Habitat Restoration project will restore the wetland and stream providing habitat for valuable fish and wildlife while managing invasive species. The project will construct habitat structures to increase fish & wildlife diversity and improve water quality within the Rouge River watershed.

Tamarack Creek is a tributary of Evans Creek and the Middle Rouge River. As much of its drainage area is urbanized, it receives large quantities of uncontrolled stormwater runoff. The high channel velocities caused by large peak flows have led to bank erosion and sedimentation of instream habitat. Additionally, excessive velocity is destabilizing substrates that are important for fish and macroinvertebrate habitat. The Tamarack Creek Stream and Wetland Restoration project addresses these habitat impairments and increases fish and wildlife diversity and productivity.

In order to address the habitat impairments, restoration of Tamarack Creek was necessary in conjunction with wetland restoration to help improve hydrology and in-stream flows. Wetland restoration was included the repair of wetland hydrology, management of invasive species, and planting native wetland plants to diversify the flora. The stream habitat was restored by expanding the floodplain to allow Tamarack Creek to convey larger stormwater flows without causing excessive velocities and destabilizing substrate. Approximately 600 LFT of new stream was constructed to provide additional sinuosity. The new floodplain was planted with native plants and trees, which add wildlife habitat diversity and value. The banks and stream bed were further stabilized with woody debris habitat structures.

Funding and Parnters

This project was funded by the U. S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office through an approximatly $2.7M Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant received by the Alliance of Rouge Communities for two projects (Tamarack Creek and Johnson Creek) Grant #GL-00E002344-0 & GL-00E02478-0 . Partners in this project include the U.S. EPA, GLRI, ARC, City of Sountfield and the Rouge River Advisory Council (RRAC)

Where and When

Tamarack Creek is located in Southfield, Michigan and is a tributary of Evans Creek and the Middle Branch of the Rouge River. Project design began in 2018 with construction starting in the summer of 2021 and completed in 2022. 

Anticipated Outcomes

20 habitat structures will be constructed to increase fish & wildlife diversity. 4.5 acres of created/restored wetland/riparian habitat. 1,950 feet of restored stream. Increased storage capacity within the wetland & control flow into the creek.

Photo History of Project:

Conditions Before Restoration

Conceptual Design

Photo Gallery of Restoration Activities

Vegetation removal

Stream channel construction

Placing errosion control blanket

Shrubs and trees to be planted in the wetland

Tree planting in floodplain terrace

Tree planting in floodplain terrace

Vegetation in winter

Vegetation establishing in wetland

The Tamarack Creek project won the American Public Works Association Michigan Chapter Project of the Year in the category of Environment 1$ million to $5 million
The project also won the Keep Michigan Beautiful - Michigan Award

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Phone | 734-768-2180

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