Tamarack Creek, located just south of Lawrence Technological University, near 10 Mile Road, is slated for restoration, which will be funded by a grant. The creek is part of the Rouge River.

Tamarack Creek, located just south of Lawrence Technological University, near 10 Mile Road, is slated for restoration, which will be funded by a grant. The creek is part of the Rouge River.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Tamarack Creek slated for restoration project

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published December 12, 2018

 A redesign of the basin will help to restore wetlands in the area, as well as fish and surrounding habitat, and to reduce erosion, officials said.

A redesign of the basin will help to restore wetlands in the area, as well as fish and surrounding habitat, and to reduce erosion, officials said.

Photo by Deb Jacques

SOUTHFIELD — A portion of the Rouge River in Southfield recently received a grant that will help to improve water quality and its surrounding habitat.

City Administrator Fred Zorn said in City Council documents that through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was received by the Alliance of Rouge Communities for the engineering and design of the Tamarack Creek Stream, which is within the Rouge River watershed.

The creek is located just south of Lawrence Technological University, near 10 Mile Road.

“(The project) will be designed to retrofit the existing detention basin, create 2 new acres of wetland, restore 3,600 feet of stream and provide habitat improvements,” Zorn said in the documents.

Southfield is a member of the Alliance of Rouge Communities, which is a quasi-governmental organization with the goal of encouraging watershed-wide cooperation and mutual support to improve water quality and restore the Rouge River, Zorn said in the documents.

The alliance has been awarded federal grant funding for the watershed improvements, and Southfield will receive $403,513, according to Zorn.

Southfield Stormwater Manager Brandy Siedlaczek said the funding will be used to design the restoration of the creek and, hopefully, more funding will follow to complete the improvements.

Officials will be facilitating the redesign of a large detention basin that hasn’t functioned for around 30 years, Siedlaczek said.

“Sediment has come in, and the vegetation and phragmites and basic cattails have taken over, which is very typical of an urban detention basin. It’s not odd for that to happen,” she said. “The basin was put in when the Lodge Freeway went in. It captures stormwater from the surrounding area and highway, and it flows down the river before it reaches the creek.”

A redesign of the basin will help to restore wetlands in the area, as well as fish and surrounding habitat, and to reduce erosion, Siedlaczek said.

In the end, the project will restore 3 acres of wetlands, create 2 new acres of wetlands and restore 3,900 feet of Rouge River tributary.

“Down the line, we’d like to have more native plants, as well as habitat structures that would be in the wetland area for fish and small animals, such as rock crossings,” Siedlaczek said.

The Johnson Creek Fish Hatchery Park in Northville received a similar grant.