Clinton River Spillway Habitat Restoration

Aquatic Scientists performing species assessment

Cardno provides shoreline improvement and stabilization to restore and establish fish and wildlife habitats.

Numerous local governments and intra-agency boards collaborated on this restoration project, which included 1.75 miles of channel restoration, 2 miles of shoreline improvement, and the establishment of shallow-water habitats on the Clinton River Spillway. The Cardno team provided aquatic habitat improvement, shoreline improvement and stabilization, as well as invasive species control.

Cardno installed over 15,000 submergent and emergent plugs to provide habitat for birds, insects, fish, and amphibians. Plugs and bulbs of both types were planted in 2017 through 2019 in the newly-created off-channel aquatic habitats. Temporary barriers protecting the plugs from hungry geese were installed and later removed.

Cardno planted over 8,000 native shrubs that prefer wet soils and can withstand changing water levels. Native shrub species tolerant of dry conditions were planted above the shoreline, combatting erosion of soils on the slope. The woody stems and twigs which stand year-round can reduce the impacts of any wave action along the water and slow the flow of runoff over the ground. The shrubs also provide food and shelter for birds and insects.

Cardno planted over 500 trees, which help regulate water temperature and provide food and shelter for a wide variety of bird species.

In addition to installing plugs and planting shurbs and trees, Cardno provided invasive species control. It can take three to five years after planting for native plants to reach full root mass and plant size, and to produce high quantities of seed. During this time (and after), diligent and ongoing control of invasive plant species is necessary. Cardno used herbicide treatments on a variety of invasive species at more than 24 sites spread over two miles covering 90 acres.