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Sustain Our Great Lakes Awards $1.5M in Grant Funding to Boardman River Dams & Restoration Project

September 15, 2014
By Chuck Lombardo, CML Marketing Communications, clombardo@cmlmc.com, 231-922-6782

Traverse City, MI – The Conservation Resource Alliance has been awarded $1.5 million in grant funding from Sustain Our Great Lakes (SOGL) for the Boardman River Dams Restoration Project. Funds will be used for ongoing dam removal and restoration work on the Boardman River, including the removal of Boardman and Sabin Dams and modification of Union Street Dam.

Sustain Our Great Lakes is a public–private partnership that supports habitat restoration throughout the Great Lakes basin. Administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the program receives funding and other support from ArcelorMittal, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A significant portion of program funding is provided by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a federal program designed to protect, restore and enhance the Great Lakes ecosystem.

The SOGL grant comes on the heels of over $1 million in grant funding from other public and private sources announced by the project team in July of this year, bringing the total raised for the removal of Boardman Dam and replacement of Cass Road bridge to $7.1 million. The local fundraising goal to complete this part of the overall project is $10.8 million. The SOGL requires a 1:1 match in non-Federal funds. Project Implementation Team Chairman Frank Dituri said a significant portion of the matching funds are in place and the project team continues to be active in securing the additional matching funds.

“We have a solid funding plan in place to cover the cost of the Boardman Dam removal and the SOGL grant is a welcome and important part of that plan,” said Dituri. “We are extremely grateful to be included among the grants awarded by SOGL to projects across the country, and are seeking state, local and private partners to fund our required local match.”

The project team is currently engaged in data collection and design/specification processes for the removal of Boardman Dam and replacement of the Cass Road crossing. The Implementation Team is targeting construction at Boardman Dam, beginning with the Cass Road bridge construction, to begin in 2015. Construction for removal of Boardman Dam would likely begin in 2016. Sabin Dam removal is expected to occur no earlier than 2017.

The first phase of the overall project included the removal of Brown Bridge Dam, completed in 2013, and ongoing restoration work. When fully implemented, the Boardman River Dams & Restoration Project will reconnect over 150 miles of freeflowing, cold-water stream and restore hundreds of acres of wetland and upland habitat. It is the largest dam removal and restoration project in Michigan’s history and one of the largest such projects in the Great Lakes Basin.

Additional funders for the Boardman Dam/Cass Road Bridge work include:

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act Grant Program
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs – Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
  • Great Lakes Fishery Trust
  • Frey Foundation
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources
  • Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
  • Michigan Department of Transportation
  • Rotary Charities of Traverse City
  • Grand Traverse County and the City of Traverse City
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Fish Passage Program awarded to Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians

For more information about Sustain Our Great Lakes, visit www.sustainourgreatlakes.org.

For more information and project updates regarding the Boardman: A River Reborn, please visit www.theboardman.org.

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