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Plans continue to restore Avon Creek restoration project

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published February 9, 2011

 Avon Creek, located in front of the Rochester Hills municipal offices, is part of the Clinton River Area of Concern, a designated area of the Lake Huron drainage system.

Avon Creek, located in front of the Rochester Hills municipal offices, is part of the Clinton River Area of Concern, a designated area of the Lake Huron drainage system.

Photo by Linda Shepard

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ROCHESTER HILLS — City officials are ready to design the second phase of the Avon Creek restoration project.

Avon Creek is located in front of the Rochester Hills municipal offices, off Avon Road and west of Livernois. Last year, the city received a $192,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership.

Avon Creek is part of the Clinton River Area of Concern, a designated area that is part of the Lake Huron drainage system.

The watershed has suffered from years of degradation due to industrial activities and development. The result has been the loss of fish and wildlife habitat and reductions in fish populations, said city officials.

The grant allows restoration of natural stream meanders in a designated stretch of the creek to reduce sediment entering the stream, restore fish habitat and reduce water temperatures.

“Phase one of the project started, with a lot of dredging,” said Paul Davis, city Department of Public Services interim director. “Then the weather caught up to us.”

According to city officials, the 700-acre area of Avon Creek is badly eroded and woody invasive species are taking over the area. By restoring the wetland, native wetland species will help clean the water and restore it to a more natural temperature, which will help support food for a trout population.

“The restoration of Avon Creek is vital to maintaining our fish habitat and to preserving and protecting our city’s natural beauty,” said Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership announced the approval of over $1 million in grants aimed at supporting on-the-ground fish habitat work in the Great Lakes under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative last year.

“We are pleased to support these projects to benefit aquatic habitat under the partnership,” said Mike Weimer, assistant regional director of Fisheries for the Midwest Region of USFWS.

A request for purchase authorization to contract for design engineering and construction services for $42,300 by Hubbell, Roth & Clark Inc. of Bloomfield Hills was unanimously approved by the Rochester Hills City Council Jan. 24.

Davis said the second phase of the Avon Creek restoration project would begin this summer.

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