A Chicago-based engineering firm had proposed to develop a 1200-acre property in Marion Township, Michigan into an open space residential community that largely preserves critical natural areas such as woodlots, streams, and wetlands.

The purpose of the delineation was to determine if wetland(s), watercourse(s), bodies of water, and/or floodplain(s) were present on the property and to flag their boundaries in order to establish if these features would be regulated by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Niswander Environmental delineated all wetlands and two streams on the property. Boundaries of all delineated features were digitized and mapped in GIS, and the MDEQ regulatory status was determined for each. Nineteen wetlands totaling approximately 138 acres and two stream segments were identified and delineated on the property. All wetlands were qualitatively assessed and characterized according to the Cowardin Classification System. Dominant vegetative species, hydrologic indicators, and soil types were analyzed to determine the boundary of each wetland.

Upon completion of the delineation, Niswander Environmental prepared and received a MDEQ wetland permit that included innovative stormwater management techniques, an open space development plan, and several alternatives to avoid mitigation by preserving high-quality wetland and forested areas.

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