Boardman River Project Enters Final Phase

Construction teams have been actively engaged and moving dirt since 2017 to remove two dams on the Boardman River in Traverse City, Michigan.

The Boardman River Ecosystem Restoration Project is one of the most comprehensive dam removal and restoration projects in Michigan’s history.

The multi-phased project will “help restore the Boardman River to its natural historic conditions and result in significant ecological benefit throughout the watershed,” said Carl Platz, Great Lakes program manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “As a result of the strong partnership and collaboration of several federal, state, tribal and local stakeholders all focused on this common goal, an amazing transformation of the lower Boardman River is becoming a reality.

The overall Boardman River Ecosystem Restoration Project involves removal of the Brown Bridge, Boardman and Sabin dams, and replacement of the Union Street Dam. The Brown Bridge Dam was removed through a locally-led effort in 2012, while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USACE, facilitated the Boardman and Sabin dam removals.

The purpose of this comprehensive ecosystem restoration project is to improve water quality and aquatic habitat, while restoring fish passage on the Boardman River. This work will allow the river to return to a more natural state, restoring 250 acres of wetlands and reconnecting 211 miles of free-flowing, cold-water river.

Working in close partnership with USACE, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission is facilitating the final phase of the Boardman River Ecosystem Restoration Project, involving replacement and upgrading of the Union Street Dam.


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