Over 20 individual sites have been restored in the immediate Muskegon Lake watershed. Restoration has included the removal of contaminated sediments, historic foundry fill and concrete, and slabwood from lumber operations. This historical fill has been replaced with clean topsoil and thousands of native trees, shrubs, grasses, and wildflowers. Various habitat structures have been installed, including large woody debris, osprey nesting platforms, and birdhouses.
State, federal, and local partners have worked together to restore these sites. Restoration has occurred on both public and private property. Since 2006…
- 24,073 linear feet of restored shoreline
- 89 acres of emergent wetland restored
- 70 acres of open water wetlands restored
- 24 acres of upland buffer restored
In 2019, the restored sites were monitored and the overall ecological health of each site was assessed. Scientific sampling was used to assess the vegetation at the sites, and sites were examined for impairments or threats to the habitat. This typically included erosion, invasive species, or human use.
The site monitoring data was analyzed to look for broad trends across all of the restored sites, especially considering the water level rise that has occurred since major restoration has began. These trends can help determine the success of restoration, and also inform future restoration efforts.
There were 298 total plant species, and 207 native plant species present across all of the sites. A full list of all plant species can be found HERE.
The vegetation at each site was qualitatively monitored to provide an objective assessment of the plant communities. These assessments provide not only a basis for comparison, they can also provide clues about restoration success.