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Tag: Betsie River
The Big Picture in Benzie County

Since 2008, CRA and partners have poured efforts into the Betsie River, Platte River and Otter Creek. These watersheds course through large tracts of public land and are popular for just about every outdoor sport. Our approach for restoration work has been one of packaging multiple projects into larger phases of funding and labor. In doing so, we save capital resources and time while seeing real change on a watershed-wide scale.

Sustain Our Great Lakes Awards $5.7 Million in Grants

Sustain Our Great Lakes partners announced 20 projects selected to receive more than $5.7 million in grant funding for ecological restoration in the Great Lakes basin. With a focus on restoring coastal wetland habitat and improving the quality and connectivity of stream and riparian habitat, this investment will help protect, restore, and enhance the ecological integrity of the Great Lakes and surrounding region. Grant recipients will match the new funding with an additional $7 million, for a total on-the-ground impact of $12.7 million.

Some Like it Cold – Conserving Coldwater Habitat

From the big open water of our Great Lakes to the secluded creeks of our headwaters, we are lucky to have a vast array of freshwater habitats. Some fish like bass, whitefish and pike thrive in our big lakes. Others like our brook trout depend on our coldwater streams. Keeping these habitats in balance is critical for a diverse fishery.

Little Betsie & Nessen Road Timber Bridge

The Nessen road/stream crossing, site #B-12, was an aging concrete bottomless box structure approximately 7½ feet wide over the Little Betsie River. The extremely narrow width created an unnaturally large scour pool downstream and increased velocity flows at the outlet. In addition large amounts of gravel from the roadway were being inputted into the stream along with crumbling material from the structure itself. Through this project partners designed and completed the installation of a 14’ wide, 22’ span timber bridge that accommodates the natural stream channel and allows the natural movement of substrate, fish and wildlife. Paved approaches and spillways were incorporated to channel road runoff away from the stream as well.

Next Chapter on the Betsie and Platte Rivers

The last six years have brought tremendous opportunities through the EPA to coordinate large scale restoration projects in Northern Michigan. The waters of Benzie County have been buzzing with activity since. We are currently in the third phase of work in the Betsie River Watershed and the Platte River Watershed with funding through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Sustain Our Great Lakes program. This phase includes the replacement of several severely degraded road/stream crossings as well as streambank stabilization and in-stream habitat work.

Timber Bridge Coming on the Little Betsie and Nessen Road

The first project in a new phase of work in the Betsie and Platte River watersheds kicks off this spring. Since 2008, CRA has completed over a dozen major projects in these watersheds including timber bridges, dam removals, wetland restoration and
instream habitat work.

Misty Acres Dam Coming Down

While walking through Misty Acres, a 585-acre preserve in Manistee and Benzie counties, you might pass through the mature hardwood forests, delicate wetlands or hear the Belted Galloway cattle from the nearby farm. Soon, you’ll hear the subtle trickle of a Betsie River tributary flowing freely.

Restoration at the Heart of the Betsie and Platte Rivers

CRA recently received great news! We were awarded a grant through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Sustain Our Great Lakes program for work on the Betsie and Platte rivers to restore aquatic connectivity and improve in-stream habitat.

2013 Sustain Our Great Lakes Grants Announced
By Todd Hogrefe, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

The Sustain Our Great Lakes program announced $8.4 Million in grants for Great Lakes restoration. This public–private partnership is funding 29 projects enabling $16.2 million of on-the-ground impact in U.S. and Canada during the latest round of grant awards.

Dair Creek & Landis Road Crossing Replacement

The Betsie River is a State designated Natural River known for salmon & steelhead fishing. Dair Creek is the coldest & second largest tributary to the Betsie and provides critical escape & spawning habitat in a watershed that is known to have extreme water temperatures on the mainstem during summer & winter months. With the replacement of the aging, undersized 3’ diameter corrugated culverts where Landis Road crosses Dair Creek, a bottomless arch now spans the creek providing full passage of aquatic life and a natural stream bottom under the road. 

Betsie River & King Road Improvement Project

The Betsie River is a State Designated Natural River and is well known for its steelhead and salmon fishery. The Betsie River is a Lake Michigan tributary and it flows through Grand Traverse, Benzie, and Manistee Counties, with its headwaters starting in Green Lake. The Betsie River Watershed has 106 road/stream crossings with 64 recommended for some type of improvement. Site #B-20 is where the Betsie mainstem crosses King Road; this site was ranked severe with its steep, sandy eroding road approaches that washed over the bridge deck into the river with snowmelt and rain events. By partnering with the Grand Traverse Band, Environmental Protection Agency and the Benzie County Road Commission, sufficient funding was secured in order to harden the approaches and include curbing and diversion outlets to channel runoff away from the stream.

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Conservation Resource Alliance

Bayview Professional Centre
10850 Traverse Highway, Suite 1180
Traverse City, MI 49684
231-946-6817 info@rivercare.org

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