AmeriCorps, 2011
2011 AmeriCorps Field Season
Lisa Marie Tobin

The cooler temperatures and the changes in leaves are all reminders that winter will soon be upon us and with the 2011 field season quickly coming to an end I would like to take a moment to recap this years field season.

As an AmeriCorps member, I hit the ground running this summer and with the help of volunteers our efforts paid off.  Seven new conservation services were put in place and five habitat
restoration projects completed.

Erosion surveys have been completed for both the West and East branch of Big Creek and the East Branch of the Au Sable River for a total of 15 miles surveyed.  The data collected will be used for prioritizing future erosion restoration projects along the Au Sable River.

The four-part Davis Landing restoration project in the Mio area has been completed restoring over 2000 feet of river down stream from the landing.

Volunteers and I spent three days posting 19 new regulation signs at several landing in the Huron National Forest Mio District.

Working with the Big Waters Preservation Association members, four river clean-ups were completed throughout the summer.  Over 16 miles of the Au Sable River has been restored with over one-hundred bags of trash removed from the river and its banks.

Water quality monitoring took place on three separate days this season completing the fourth year for the MiCorps program.  The sorting process is still underway and the numbers are consistently scoring the Au Sable as a high quality river.

With the help of volunteers, road stream crossing surveys were conducted in Oscoda County.  This data will be used for prioritizing and determining future restoration projects for stream crossings.

Thirteen days and over 300 man-hours were spent mapping the characteristics of the 1.5 mile Williams Tract Reach of the Main Stream of the Au Sable River.  This data was used to help determine locations for fish population studies.  These studies were completed and a spawning riffle is currently scheduled to be built at the end of October to help enhance natural trout reproduction on this reach of the Au Sable.

Under the guidance of Steven Sendek the permit for the mill site dam restoration project in Frederic has been completed with a goal to have this restoration project completed during the 2012 field season.

Working with members of the Mason-Griffith Founders Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Cedars for the Au Sable program, 80 white cedars have been planted and caged in the Grayling Mill Pond and Deward area and are reported to be doing well.

The first ever Purple Loosestrife Removal Day took place in early August with 17 volunteers coming out to help take up the battle against this invader.  Volunteers removed over 2500 plants in one day.  However, efforts did not stop there.  By the  middle of September Purple Loosestrife had been removed from over ten miles of the Au Sable banks and 126 miles of Purple Loosestrife inventory had been completed.

At the end of the season over 30 miles of the Au Sable River has been restored impacting 4.2 million people who live and/or visit the Au Sable River each year.  All of this could not have been accomplished without the help of the 85 volunteers who came together and spent 800 man-hours working together for a common goal, helping to maintain the pristine condition of the Au Sable River.  I would like to thank all of the partners of the Au Sable River Watershed Restoration Committee for giving me the opportunity to serve your community.
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