Conservation Resource Alliance
Call 231-946-6817


The Upper Jordan River Restoration Project

February 1, 2005

The Jordan River is located in the northwest portion of Michigan's Lower Peninsula and drains an area of approximately 127 square miles in Antrim and Charlevoix counties. The Jordan River is a state designated Natural River, and has coldwater temperatures and woody debris for great trout habitat. The major tributary to the upper Jordan River is the Green River. The Jordan River and tributary streams are designated trout streams and are managed for trout and salmon populations. Brook and brown trout are abundant in the mainstem and in most tributaries. The Jordan River Valley supports a wide variety of recreational activities including fishing, canoeing, swimming, hunting, trapping, mushrooming, hiking, photography and snowmobile trails.

The Upper Jordan River Restoration Project entails erosion control and sand removal on this important trout stream. Excessive sand is detrimental to instream fish habitat. The particles that make up sand are heavy and it takes high water flows and considerable time to flush this sand out of a river system. Sand covers the gravel beds that are vital for fish spawning and provide attachment spots for aquatic insects. More importantly, sand literally changes the shape of a stream by filling it in, and making it wide and shallow. Critical coldwater temperatures can be warmed and logjams will be buried.

The first component of this project involved constructing a new bridge over the Green River on Pinney Bridge Rd., a major tributary to the upper Jordan River. That bridge was replaced in December of 2003 as a result of River Care grant funding from the DTE Energy Foundation and the Frey Foundation. Management and preservation of the Jordan River receives strong public support from many different organizations. The following groups have played an active role in seeking funds for and monitoring the Green River Bridge at Pinney Bridge Rd.: Conservation Resource Alliance, Friends of the Jordan, Antrim Snowmobile Club, Antrim County Road Commission, Antrim Conservation District, Charlevoix Conservation District, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council and Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The Green River Bridge structure was in very poor condition. Part of the original concrete structure was literally leaning into the river and there is a hole in the deck. Oak planks had been placed on top of the original deck to still allow vehicle passage. Without replacement, the crossing would have been closed to all vehicle traffic in the near future. All four corners of the current structure were eroding with sand from the roadbed draining into the river. CRA partnered with the Antrim County Road Commission to install a Timber Bridge that will allow for a natural stream bottom and sufficiently encompass the width of the river channel. Wing walls prevent the on-going erosion of the embankment. The road was graded to ensure that water from rain and snowmelt runs off the structure and away from the river. Revegetation and rock riprap have been incorporated for erosion control and aesthetic reasons.

This bridge project is not only important from an instream habitat perspective but also from an access route perspective. Pinney Bridge Rd. serves as the main entrance to what is called the "Jordan River Valley". The Valley is predominantly made up of public lands and thus is able to be utilized and enjoyed by recreationists of all kinds. Pinney Bridge Rd. is one of four main "entrance" roads into the Valley, and is the only one reasonably accessible to emergency fire vehicles, school buses, large recreational vehicles, snowmobile trail groomers and sand trap maintenance equipment. The bridge is a special concern to fisheries groups and agencies as it serves as the main route to sand trap locations on the upper Jordan River and Landslide Creek, another important tributary.
The second component of this project is to remove the heavy sand bedload that accumulates in the upper Jordan River and Landslide Creek. There is a 300' long site on the Jordan mainstem and a 150' long site on the Landslide Creek that are used as sand traps. Simply stated, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division needs additional help to remove and haul away the 900 cubic yards of pure sand that fills the traps every year. A portion of the DTE Energy Foundation grant and the Frey Foundation River Care grant has helped to restart this project.

The Upper Jordan Valley project is an excellent model of partnering private and local support to improve one of Northwest Michigan's pristine natural resources, the Jordan River mainstem and its important headwater tributaries. CRA, DTE Energy representatives, and other project partners celebrated this great restoration project with a very well attended ribbon cutting ceremony on May 28, 2004. This project is characteristic of the River Care work supported by the DTE Energy Foundation over the 3-year gift period. It is only possible due to the extraordinary collaboration of CRA, corporate and private funders, local and state governmental agencies, and many local watershed partners.


Archives
2020
May (1)
June (2)
2019
May (1)
June (1)
July (1)
2018
May (1)
2017
May (3)
June (2)
July (1)
2016
May (2)
June (2)
July (1)
2015
May (2)
June (1)
2014
May (3)
June (5)
July (5)
2013
May (1)
July (4)
2012
May (2)
2011
May (1)
June (4)
2010
June (2)
2009
May (3)
June (1)
2008
May (1)
June (1)
July (3)
2007
May (5)
July (3)
2006
June (2)
July (3)
2005
June (1)
July (5)
2004
May (2)
June (1)
2003
May (8)
June (4)
July (3)
2002
May (4)
June (2)
July (3)
2001
1999
June (1)

Become a CRA Member

Our partners and supporters, like you, are what really make a difference. Your support of our organization and projects are what make the biggest impact. We appreciate your investment. Together, we do great work. 

E-Newsletter Sign-up

Sign up for our e-newsletter to keep current with news and other happenings at CRA!

Conservation Resource Alliance

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

SIGN UP