Michigan Sportsman Forum banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,452 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality visited this morning to see how his state agency helped transform two contaminated properties into areas of economic growth. And, while he was here, the people showing him around made a point of mentioning another project that could use some DEQ assistance: the proposed Grand River restoration.
Dan Wyant voiced support for the $27 million restoration, but also stated that it may take longer to happen than the public might think.
“I think they think it’s a short-term project,” said Wyant, DEQ director. “It will take a bit to put together. Once we receive the application we can move relatively rapidly, but it’s a complicated thing when you take dams out."
But, Wyant added, “when the governor says it in his State of the State, his department directors are in support.
“We’ve got a team working on this. It’ll happen.”
RELATED: 'Not if, but when:' City planner on $27 million rapids restoration plan for Grand River
Wyant was in Grand Rapids on Monday, Oct. 14, touring sites including the Downtown Market, which opened this year after a $1 million DEQ grant helped fund demolition of six buildings and removal of about 50,000 cubic-yards of contaminated soil at 435 Ionia Ave. SW.
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/10/michigan_deq_director_vows_gra.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
693 Posts
We should have a pinned thread were updates like this can be posted. I would like to be informed on the developments of this project.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,148 Posts
I love how they call this project a "restoration".

We need to restore this river back to the kayak whitewater park our forefathers used to ride! *** ever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,347 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,181 Posts
I love how they call this project a "restoration".

We need to restore this river back to the kayak whitewater park our forefathers used to ride! *** ever.
X2
You're right Dan. That "restoration" word is how they're selling this one legged pig to the masses without calling it what it is................a whitewater park.

You can hide a turd in a bouquet of roses, and it may look pretty, but it still smells like ****.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,898 Posts
X2
You're right Dan. That "restoration" word is how they're selling this one legged pig to the masses without calling it what it is................a whitewater park.

You can hide a turd in a bouquet of roses, and it may look pretty, but it still smells like ****.
If they stir the bottom of this river up it just may look like a turd and smell like one. That is for sure:yikes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
693 Posts
Is there a website that lists the most recent updates for this project? I heard their last proposal still included a dam to be installed below the whitewater thing they want to build...that might not be so bad?!?

If West Michigan anglers should be against thing thing is there a way to voice our opinion?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,615 Posts
it will come out,(hope theres no snuffboxes out there),they will come
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
still with this "project"? the state will never have the money to waste on this dam.

::Like I've said for years now. That damn dam isn't going anywhere damn it. They may put some type of "course" below and maybe a passage around it that will be used for a few months by a very small percentage of people. Then the winter ice flow will come through and level out the BS course and it will all be a complete waste of time and money. Just like the waste of time it is to fight and worry about that damn being removed. I stated that I would eat my shorts for 10 years now if 6st was removed in my lifetime. I still stand by that because it's NOT GOING TO BE REMOVED.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,452 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
-b22d288c47f4733c.JPG
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — A last gasp plea written on the face of the Sixth Street Dam doesn’t appear to be winning much support among city leaders, who sound eager to kick off a proposed $27 million project that would remove several dams and restore the natural rapids to the Grand River.
“I don’t think it’s a matter of if this project will happen, but a matter of when,” Jay Steffen, assistant city planning director, told members of the city’s Local Development Finance Authority board on Friday during a mid-year report.
Earlier this month, an unknown fisherman wrote “Save The Dam” in moss on the Sixth Street Dam, presumably in protest of plans that a small but vocal group anglers believe would destroy a popular fishing spot in the middle of downtown.
The White House is supporting the large-scale Grand Rapids Whitewater river restoration project, but federal agencies still must figure out how to keep invasive sea lampreys from swimming upstream if the downtown dams are removed. The restoration group is pursuing private, state and federal funding for their project.

Related: $27 million Grand River restoration added to federal project list -

Steffen told leaders of the LDFA (also known as the Smart Zone) the city may integrate the river project into a pair of upcoming planning studies; one a master study of downtown and the other a river corridor study that would encompass several blocks on either side of the river, between North Park and Millennium Park.
He remarks were part of a report on the Michigan Street Corridor Plan project.
Steffen said the Grand Rapids Whitewater team is considering plans for a new dam in the river around Ann Street, with boulders and other whitewater features downstream to Fulton Street.
“You can imagine the development that will spin-off on the east and west sides of the river,” he said, referencing bars, restaurants with riverfront seating and kayak rental facilities, among other businesses.
The project has special interest opponents, he said. Namely, certain anglers who have proposed a plan that would leave the dam in place. To mitigate the opposition, the city should work on engaging the public, he said.
“I think there’s a lot of fear,” he said. “Change brings fear.”
If the public at large can get on board with the project, Steffen said, “by the time it gets to permitting or approval stages, you have dealt with the concerns, so if anyone shows up, they will be on the fringes where you can acknowledge them but move on.”
“We’re trying to deal with this one step at a time,” he said. “We’re trying to be open to the concerns. It’s a very complex project that involves hydrology, hydraulics and the environment. The goal in the end is to enhance the river by putting the boulders back in and providing a better sturgeon habitat.”
“All in all, we feel as if we’re looking at a better river in the end.”
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/09/river_project_a_matter_of_when.html
http://thewmeacblog.org/2013/06/10/grand-river-restoration-water-quality-report-summary/
http://thewmeacblog.org/2012/06/12/...ation-on-the-grand/?relatedposts_exclude=8891
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,452 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
NA-BW642_RAPIDS_D_20130602174252.jpg
Real Rapids in Grand Rapids?
Restoring Michigan City's Namesake Waterway Viewed as Boon for Downtown
By MATTHEW DOLAN
Boys fish on Saturday on the Grand River in Grand Rapids, Mich. Sean Proctor for The Wall Street Journal
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The fast-moving water that inspired this city's name disappeared more than a century ago.
Now, a group of white-water enthusiasts, environmental engineers and civic leaders are attempting to turn back time and put the frothy rapids back into the Grand River.
Federal agencies were cleared last month to work together on the project after the Environmental Protection Agency named it as one of 11 new sites for the Urban Rivers Restoration Initiative. Other projects receiving this federal designation include the Green-Duwamish River in Seattle and the Passaic River in Newark, N.J.
Civic leaders are hoping to reintroduce long dormant rapids to a river in Grand Rapids, Mich. The estimated $27 million project still has no financial backers, but supporters include Michigan's governor. WSJ's Matthew Dolan reports via #WorldStream.
In Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder backed the plan and three-term Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell said he's enthusiastic about the proposal to tear down or modify five dams and use excavators and cranes to install new boulders—some as large as 10 feet wide—to mimic white-water conditions on the river last seen in the 19th Century.
"It's one of the most frequent questions I get: 'Where's the rapids?" Mr. Heartwell said.
Grand Rapids' efforts are part of a larger national push to attempt to rescue urban waterways long abused and neglected, especially by cities in the industrial Midwest. Advocates in Minneapolis-St. Paul have floated a similar rapids idea for their stretch of the Mississippi River.
"We are seeing an exciting shift in communities after businesses left and downtowns are looking to revitalize," said Jason Carey, founder of River Restoration, a Colorado-based engineering firm working on the Grand River effort. "They're seeing that rivers can be economic drivers for renewal."
Mr. Carey points to the company's restorative work on the Ogden River in Ogden, Utah, as an example of rivers attracting new visitors drawn to the outdoors lifestyle.
The drive to reconstruct an ecological piece of the past in Grand Rapids comes despite rising river levels that reached historic heights during heavy rains in late April, cresting at more than 21 feet and testing floodwalls.
An 1836 map of the city shows several large islands in the middle of the river, Michigan's longest running 232 miles from the center of the state west to Lake Michigan. But by the early 1900s, the bottom of the river had been scraped and flattened to allow for the logging industry to float timber downstream.
Private companies and philanthropies have chipped in to complete engineering and hydrologicalstudies of ways to restore the rapids along a 2½-mile stretch of largely placid waterway meandering through downtown. So far, they have raised more than $100,000 from the city's downtown development authority. Private funders, including a local microbrewery and bank, have provided additional money. But a lack of cash for the project's estimated $27.5 million cost and skeptics of its impact remain obstacles.
Environmentalists fret that removing dams could increase the risk of flooding and allow invasive fish—including the sea lamprey, an eel-like fish with a menacing mouth that attacks other fish—to breach the river's tributaries. "I think there is going to have to be some sort of compromise and maybe something less than full rapids," said Jay Wesley of the fisheries division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. "I think the challenges of the sea lamprey are going to be too big and I'm not sure from an engineering perspective that a lamprey barrier can be constructed upstream and not have an effect on flooding."
Anglers worry about the loss of plentiful fishing holes. And rowers fear the project may imperil a leading regatta site where the smooth river is straight and the winds gentle.
"People are kind of wary and there is a little bit of caution because the Grand River is a fantastic rowing spot," said Landon Bartley, president of the Grand Rapids Rowing Association.
The river restoration effort started five years ago when politicians assembled residents to help design a new master plan for the city of 188,000 about 25 miles east of Lake Michigan.
The hometown of the late President Gerald Ford drew its nickname—Furniture City—from its headquarters for some of the world's leading office-furniture companies. The city, which lost about 5% of its population between 2000 and 2010 according to the Census, has recently stabilized and started to grow slightly. The metro region now has more than 1 million people, a key designation for companies looking to relocate.
The initial idea was promoted by two local outdoorsmen, Chris Muller and Chip Richards, a real-estate entrepreneur and stay-at-home father. The two are working on an economic-impact study of the restoration initiative that would create white-water rapids downstream of the city's largest spillway dam. In a November 2011 survey of the river bottom, "we discovered a much more significant finding that there was a bedrock rapids already there," Mr. Muller said. Ideally, he added, all of the dams would be removed to allow its natural course and 18-foot drop to shape the rapids, likely helped by the placement of boulders
"In a perfect world, that would be fantastic. Those natural rapids have been really good habitat for fish," said Mr. Wesley of the fisheries division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Lake sturgeon, he said, once populated the river thanks to rocks and boulders that created spots to lay eggs in well-oxygenated water that was safe from other predators.
But today, a permanent dam barrier—not the envisioned natural course of rapids—is what keeps sea lamprey at bay. Scientists fear that if they are allowed to travel upstream, they could spawn, multiply and threaten the larger ecosystem of the Lake Michigan.
Advocates for the rapids have suggested the installation of an inflatable dam upstream that could better regulate water levels around the season to insure better rowing conditions. But opponents believe that the inflatable barrier will not be able to prevent encroachment from the lamprey, a position adopted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Administration.
"One of our mottos is get the dam thing right," said Steve Heintzelman, a local realtor who co-founded Grand River Future Vision, a group of fishing enthusiasts who initially opposed the plan. His colleague, bait-shop owner Josh Smith, proposed modifying the current dam to aid the rapids project but keep the lamprey barrier. The group first organized a boycott of the project but have since softened their opposition in the hopes of finding a compromise that doesn't threaten fishing.
Like many city residents, Starlon Washington, the 69-year-old pastor of the New Fellowship Baptist Church, is a little unsure about changing a waterway he's known as relatively calm for decades.
"It will cut out some of the fishing but not all of it," he says sitting on the western banks of the river fishing for walleye. "I've never seen it run through with rapids so this is the only thing I'm familiar with."
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
407 Posts
Excerpt's from last article:

The estimated $27 million project still has no financial backers, but supporters include Michigan's governor.

"They're seeing that rivers can be economic drivers for renewal." I wonder if it will be $27 million dollars worth of renewal?

Environmentalists fret that removing dams could increase the risk of flooding and allow invasive fish (asian carp perhaps?) —including the sea lamprey, an eel-like fish with a menacing mouth that attacks other fish—to breach the river's tributaries.

Anglers worry about the loss of plentiful fishing holes. And why wouldn't we?

"I've never seen it run through with rapids so this is the only thing I'm familiar with." Unless you are over 100 years old and can remember...I'll stop now.
 
  • Like
Reactions: itchn2fish

·
Registered
Joined
·
885 Posts
Is there a website that lists the most recent updates for this project? I heard their last proposal still included a dam to be installed below the whitewater thing they want to build...that might not be so bad?!?

If West Michigan anglers should be against thing thing is there a way to voice our opinion?

Have you considered joining a fishing club, like say the Grand Rapids chapter of the Michigan Steelheaders? Since there isn't a formal plan in place just yet, especially for the lamprey barrier, it may be hard to vocalize an organized opinion just yet.

I do know that many people are watching this very closely and waiting to see the formal plans before pouncing on either side. There might be a plan that makes everyone happy, but I HIGHLY doubt that.
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top