Wayne County Refuge Gateway Restoration Design

Floodplain wetland community within Wayne County Refuge Gateway

Wayne County purchased a 44-acre brownfields property along the Detroit River to transform it into the Wayne County Refuge Gateway, the entry point to the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.

Cardno designed and completed engineering drawings for coastal wetland and shoreline restoration projects, including the restoration of eight acres of shallow emergent marsh, seven acres of submergent marsh, and 27 acres of forested and prairie upland buffer.  

Cardno staff analyzed and evaluated several issues of concern during the development of restoration plans, including: the brownfield property’s prior use for automotive part and paint production; five contaminated and capped areas on site; very little native soil and a significant amount of fill (rock and concrete) on the site; and vast amounts of invasive common reed (Phragmites australis). Our team created barrier islands to shield the wetland from river currents and surge and integrated sandy turtle nesting habitat to successfully create sustainable wetland habitats in a potentially volatile and unknown river environment. Cardno also prepared the NEPA environmental assessment and provided permitting assistance with multiple federal and state agencies.  

Cardno assisted in creating a forested floodplain wetland community and emergent wetland and submergent aquatic habitats in nearshore areas for a National Wildlife Refuge site along the Detroit River. The site was formerly a brownfield property once used for automotive part and paint production.