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Update on Boardman River Project

November 1, 2013
By Morgan Sherburne, Michigan Trout Unlimted

Through a wide field south of Traverse City flows a horseshoe of the Boardman River.

The river cuts through new, raw-looking hills of glacial till — soft sand and pebbles. Stumps of old trees sit along the river, and in a field that the horseshoe hugs is planted native, stabilizing grass.

Cross the river and scale the hill and you can see two tall hills, through which is a wide, flat flood plain covered in native plants.

This is the site of the Brown Bridge Dam, which stood until the fall of 2012. Its removal was completed in May 2013, and cost a total of $4.2 million.

The dam is the first of three dams to be removed in a years-long project, put in place by many agencies, including the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Grand Traverse County, the city of Traverse City, Traverse City Light and Power and many other non-governmental organizations, according to a news release on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s website. The groups are collectively known as the Implementation Team.

Called the “Boardman River Project” — the largest in Michigan’s history — the project’s ultimate goal is to remove the Brown Bridge, Boardman and Sabin dams, and to modify the Union Street Dam. Once completed, the project will return about 160 miles of river to its natural state, and, according to the DNR, is the largest reconnection project in the Great Lakes region.

Read more at Update on Boardman River Project.


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

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