Conservation Resource Alliance
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The Big Three of 2015

May 4, 2015

This year, we have three multi-year initiatives in the spotlight with The Boardman: A River Reborn, Free Spanning the Maple River and the Jordan River Chestonia Bridge. These projects include a significant amount of fundraising, genuine partner collaboration and determination on the part of our staff and board to see them through. We are eager to see the next phases unfold on these remarkable journeys to free our waters.

The Boardman: A River Reborn

The Boardman River Dam Removal Project in Grand Traverse County is the largest dam removal project in Michigan’s history involving the removal of three dams and modifying a fourth. The completed project will result in re-connection of 160 miles of natural river and habitat fragmented by the dams for over 100 years. The project is guided and supported by an Implementation Team of eight local, state, tribal and federal partners. The Brown Bridge Dam was removed in 2012 and channel restoration and monitoring efforts continue in this stretch. The next steps include replacing Cass Road Bridge and removing the Boardman Dam. The bridge replacement is scheduled to begin in 2016 with dam breach and restoration the following field season. Be sure to visit the project website for the latest updates www.theboardman.org.

Free Spanning the Maple River

The goal in the Maple River Watershed is 100% connectivity – a rare and challenging opportunity.
The main stem flows roughly 23 miles through Emmet County before flowing into Burt Lake and into the Cheboygan River Watershed. To date, we’ve completed three of the nine major projects that make up this initiative as well as erosion work and the addition of two miles of instream habitat. This year, CRA and partners will complete the installation of a timber bridge on Robinson Road as well as enhance six miles of stream habitat. Plans to tackle the largest obstacle on the river, the Lake Kathleen Dam, are also underway. Lastly, we are excited to share water quality monitoring data collected by the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians available on our website.

Jordan River Chestonia Bridge

Known locally as Chestonia Bridge, two 16’ wide culverts currently sit where Old State Road crosses the Jordan River in Antrim County. These culverts along with eroding streambanks and worn access trails are causing unnatural stream changes and speed up stream flow to the point where some fish and other aquatic species cannot get upstream. Both the health of the river and making this a safe, accessible site for recreationists are top priorities in building a full span bridge. Engineering designs are complete as CRA launches into the final fundraising phase. Thank you to the Charlevoix County Community Foundation, Frey Foundation, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act and the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation for supporting this initiative. Want to help? Contact CRA to support projects like the Old State Road crossing that benefit the water and people of northern Michigan.

Big Three


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Conservation Resource Alliance

Bayview Professional Centre
10850 Traverse Highway, Suite 1180
Traverse City, MI 49684
231-946-6817

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