Zug Island - Site #51

At the Confluence of the Rouge and Detroit Rivers


Project Goals and Objectives: Stabilize shoreline of Zug Island and enhance aquatic habitat

Project Description: U.S. Steel Corporation, located in the cities of Ecorse and River Rouge, is Michigan's largest producer of steel. Steel production at this facility began in 1930. It sits on 1,100 acres and has approximately seven miles of shoreline. The Detroit River provides an ideal means for the facility to import raw materials and export steel to much of the region.

This facility also produces 85% of the coke, a product from coal, required for their steel production. The ovens, which produce coke, have a silica brick lining that must be replaced about every 30 years. Not long ago, US Steel Corporation dismantled one of its older, out-of-date ovens. Instead of simply dumping all of the construction material into a landfill, US Steel Corporation wanted to recycle the old inert building material. Consistent with the Corporation's commitment to conservation and enhancement of habitat, US Steel found a creative solution that recycles building materials and enhances shoreline habitat on Zug Island.

Historically, the Detroit River shoreline has been stabilized in an ad hoc fashion using poured concrete (see above). This practice has achieved limited success in controlling erosion problems. Today, intense rains still create erosion problems. In addition, this hardened shoreline has no habitat value for wildlife.

US Steel Corporation placed recycled bricks from the Coke Oven in front of the existing poured concrete shoreline to provide some habitat to fish and other aquatic wildlife. In addition, the placement of these recycled bricks will also allow a berm to be constructed along the shoreline to enhance existing controls for the prevention of surface erosion from the stockpiles entering the river. No toxicity has been measured coming from these bricks and full-scale implementation is now awaiting final approvals.

Cost: $10,000

Timeframe: 2000

Partners: U.S. Steel Corporation

Ecological Effectiveness: No post-project monitoring of ecological effectiveness has been performed to date

Restoration Contact: U.S. Steel Corporation