A 24-mile extension of a natural gas pipeline in southeastern Michigan unavoidably impacted 13 wetlands regulated by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. After construction and backfilling using stockpiled wetland soil, the Department required quantitative vegetation monitoring to gauge recovery of restored wetlands relative to performance standards.
In the summer of 2015, AES conducted quantitative ecological monitoring, using standard transect and quadrat protocols, at each of the 13 discreet wetlands. AES recorded 246 plant species, including 183 native species. All 13 wetlands supported a predominance of hydrophytes including many native species, greatly exceeding the required minimum number of native wetland species.
Not surprising for the first year after construction, the minimum number of trees and shrubs were lacking on two wooded wetlands. AES’ floristic quality assessments ranked the restored wetlands as being moderate quality, a result likely tied to the propagules of native species contained in the stockpiled wetland soil.
- Ecological and Vegetation Monitoring
- Wetland Restoration
Consumer Energy Wetland Assessment
Branch and St. Joseph Counties, Michigan