As part of a grant from the Rouge River National Wet Weather Demonstration Project, Niswander Environmental developed a comprehensive Wetland Inventory in April and May 2007 that identified, categorized, and assessed all wetlands and surface waters within Bloomfield Township. A Wetland Inventory was deemed critical for preserving the natural beauty and significant natural features of the community while maintaining its economic vitality. The goal of this inventory was not only to identify and characterize the Township’s 1,460 acres of existing wetlands, lakes, ponds, and watercourses, but also to provide a baseline data-set to be used for future land use planning. The Wetland Inventory was designed as a GIS-based tool that can be used by Township planning, engineering, environmental, and building departments on a daily basis to evaluate projects and potential impacts to the Township’s remaining wetlands and other natural resources.
Bloomfield Township is experiencing significant development around wetland features since they are considered desirable amenities by the residents. Therefore, detailed information on the Township’s remaining wetlands is crucial to the protection of these wetland habitats. In addition, Bloomfield Township is at the headwaters of the Main 1-2 Subwatershed of the Rouge River; therefore, the wetlands in this area are critical for maintaining and improving the health of the watershed.
Niswander Environmental provided a Wetlands and Watercourses Map and GIS database to the Township that offered more detailed information on the wetlands that exist within the Township than was previously available. Data collected during the inventory included wetland type (based on Cowardin Classification System – PEM, PSS, PFO, etc.), dominant vegetation (including invasive species assessment), quality (high, medium, low), and functions (flood control, wildlife habitat, groundwater recharge, pollution filtering, erosion control, etc.). Other significant characteristics were also be noted (i.e., disturbance, surrounding land use, unique features, restoration potential, buffers, etc.). Additionally, representative photographs were collected at each survey location.
In order to qualitatively evaluate the functions and values of wetlands, Niswander Environmental used the Michigan Wetland Rapid Assessment Methodology (MiRAM) currently being developed by the MDNRE with input from a select group of wetland scientists, including Dr Niswander. The MiRAM is a way to rapidly assess a wetland by assigning a score and category. These categories will be utilized to determine which wetlands are of crucial importance to the Township.
Niswander Environmental now serves as Bloomfield Township’s Environmental Consultant. We provide on-call services to the Township for all environmental related issues.