Michigan Steel

The Michigan Steel site is a privately owned peninsula located on the south shore of Muskegon Lake. The site was historically constructed of a combination of foundry fill, concrete, slag, and miscellaneous debris.

The site was restored by removing the concrete debris and slag from around the shorelines, as well as some of the foundry fill. A combination of stone and bioengineering was placed along the shoreline. Selective gaps were created in the stone to allow for wildlife passage across the land-water interface.

Michigan Steel | Map
Year restored: 2011-2013

Total Area Restored (by habitat type):
Shoreline softening=2,377 linear feet
Emergent Wetland=1.9 acres
Upland Buffer=2.2 acres

Construction Facts:
$923,400 construction cost

9,217 cubic yards of foundry fill removed
1,318 tons of slag and metal debris removed
3,880 native shrubs installed
1,800 native plants installed
1,880 linear feet of bioengineering installed
71 native species installed

Construction

Post-Restoration

2019 Site Monitoring Summary

Site Summary Statistics

2019 Native Mean Coefficient of Conservatism: 3.7
2019 Floristic Quality Index (FQI): 16.5
2019 Total Native Species: 30
2019 Percent Invasive Species Cover: <5%

Invasive species currently present:
Spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe)

For more information on invasive plants and their management, CLICK HERE

Dominant native species:
Sandbar willow (Salix exigua)

Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
Tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima)
Yellow coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)
Horsemint (Monarda punctata)

For more information on native plants around Muskegon Lake, CLICK HERE

Site Summary:

As water levels have risen at the site, plant diversity has been reduced over previous years. The existing shrubs, primarily sandbar willow, have stabilized the shoreline where they are intermixed with the rock toe. The high water levels have reduced the size of the overall peninsula.

Erosion has occurred on the east and west sides of the peninsula as a result of high water levels and waves. If sustained high water continues, the site may need to be stabilized through the addition of stone. To place stone, a permit will be required by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).


Native Mean C=average coefficient of conservatism (C). Each plant is assigned a “C” value, which represents the probability that a plant will occur in an undisturbed area. C values range from 0-10. Wetlands with a native mean C greater than 3.5 are considered “high quality aquatic resources” (USFWS)
FQI=Floristic Quality Inventory, which is an indication of quality of the vegetation at a given site. In general, wetlands with an FQI above 20 are considered “high quality aquatic resources” (USFWS)

Management Recommendations

Invasive species are minimally present at the site. The only invasive plant species documented was spotted knapweed, which can be removed by hand pulling or selective herbicide applications.

For more information on invasive plant management, CLICK HERE.

The site should be monitored 2-3 times per year to look for erosion and any invasive plants.