Conservation Resource Alliance and the Boardman Dams Implementation Team (IT) recently celebrated the reopening and rebirth of 2.5 miles of the Boardman River as project partners, stakeholders and supporters gathered at the former Brown Bridge Dam site. The message was one of goodwill and collaboration as so many partners and community members deserve credit for the realization of this project.
A group of nearly 60 were able to enjoy a rejuvenated river valley that has been under water since 1921. Restored to its relic channel, the Boardman now meanders through 2.5 miles of former impoundment and shows evidence of some of the best habitat potential of any stretch of this state designated Blue Ribbon Trout Stream. Drummers from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians honored the reborn river with traditional tribute to Mother Earth. Good food, a passionate leadership team, and a group paddle of the project area highlighted the perfect northern Michigan day.
What's up next? The project moves downstream where planning for the removal of the next two former hydro-electric dams, Boardman and Sabin, is well underway. Seen as the largest dam removal project in Michigan's history, and the largest wetlands restoration in the Great Lakes Basin, the Boardman Dam Project will re-connect 160 miles of river habitat. Visit the dedicated project website: www.theboardman.org
Photos: Conservation Resource Alliance