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Coldwater Revival on the Boardman
It’s been a big year for the Boardman River. For the first time in over 100 years, the river flowed through its historic channel under the new Cass Road bridge. Anyone who witnessed this transformation got to see history being made – the wow factor was truly unparalleled. Beginning in June, 14 siphons began to draw down Keystone Pond. A detailed process in its own right, each siphon was hand-controlled to ensure the impoundment was drawn down properly. Once lowered sufficiently, the river was carefully woven first through a temporary channel and then to its final resting place where nature intended it to be.
Dam Management Grant Program Supports Sabin Dam Removal

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources awarded a $75,000 grant through the Dam Management Grant Program to Conservation Resource Alliance. This award was part of $3.35M awarded through this program in 2017 to help remove obsolete structures or repair functioning dams resulting in improved fisheries, aquatic resources and public safety.
How is a river reborn?
How is a river reborn? Well, one scoop of dirt at a time. Today, all that scooping added up. Just after dawn, the Boardman River flowed through a section of its historic channel for the first time since 1896. Big thanks to the Michigan DNR, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians, Grand Traverse Conservation District, AECOM, Michels and volunteers from the Adams Chapter of Trout Unlimited for spending the morning relocating fish that remained in the former channel.
Old State Rd Update
A major milestone was reached as the bridge beams were set on Chestonia Bridge on Old State Road. Construction crews will wrap up the final phase of work with Old State Road slated to reopen by July 1, 2017. CRA is also excited to share two new grant awards to support our work on the Jordan River including $20,000 from the Charlevoix County Community Foundation and $10,000 from the Oleson Foundation. These funds support Chestonia Bridge efforts and the replacement of Cokirs Creek crossing, adjacent to Chestonia Bridge.
Lake Kathleen Dam Removal Kick-off
CRA and the Holton family welcomed an extraordinary group of partners at the Lake Kathleen Dam this month. The group heard from a wide variety of folks – all connected by a passion and determination to free the Maple River.

“I remember first coming out to this dam 17 years ago to talk removal – this project is a long time coming,” remarked Heather Rawlings, Fish and Wildlife Biologist with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Lake Kathleen Dam is slated for removal in 2018 as part of CRA’s Free Span the Maple River initiative.
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