Significant urbanization and decades of industrial activities have severely impacted the St. Clair River and its natural communities. In 2011, large scale restoration efforts were initiated within a portion of the river in Port Huron, Michigan. In total, nearly 5,000 linear feet of shoreline were restored and new wetland communities were created. Measures were taken to provide improved habitat conditions for target wildlife taxa including herpetofauna, avifauna, and aquatic macroinvertebrates. Long-term monitoring of bioindicator species revealed significant shifts in the presence of several wildlife groups. Aquatic salamanders were immediately observed using habitat structures and within the first two years the newly established wetlands supported breeding amphibians, birds, and invertebrates. The local community has also benefited from much needed opportunities to observe and enjoy nature in an otherwise urban landscape. The presentation will describe this novel work while highlighting restoration results, long-term monitoring data, and lessons learned.
Maegan Stapleton, Herpetological Resource and Management
Maegan Stapleton is a lead field biologist at Herpetological Resource and Management with a strong background in species identification, sampling, and data quality and management. She received her BS in Zoology from Michigan State University. As part of HRM, Maegan has participated in a wide range of projects and specializes in assessing herpetofaunal diversity and monitoring habitat restoration. Additionally, she assisted in the development of the Michigan Amphibian and Reptile Best Management Practices Manual and co-authored the Kinixys Conservation Blueprint.
David Mifsud, Herpetological Resource and Management
David A. Mifsud is a Certified Wildlife Biologist, Certified Professional Ecologist, and a Professional Wetland Scientist. He has been working for 20 years in conservation field with expertise in amphibians and reptiles and has spent his career advocating for the protection and best management of herpetofauna in Michigan. He developed Michigan's only salamander monitoring program and has served as an expert on vernal pools conservation in Michigan for over 15 years. He is the Co-Chair of the State of Michigan Amphibian and Reptile Technical Advisory Board and administer of the Michigan Herpetological Atlas. David also serves as an expert on Great Lakes Turtles for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group and is also active in global turtle and tortoises conservation. Mifsud is the author of the Amphibian & Reptile Best Management Practices for Michigan and co-author of the upcoming second edition of Amphibians and reptiles of the Great Lakes Region.