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GLRI-Funded Removal of Sabin Dam Underway in Grand Traverse County, Mich.

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equipment removes sections of Sabin Dam

(Dec. 11, 2018) Construction is underway in Michigan’s Grand Traverse County to finally relocate the Ottaway-Boardman River channel to its intended new location. This accomplishment follows previous milestones this year to  lower the dam spillway, remove the former hydroelectric powerhouse, and restore the river channel upstream in the former impoundment. Removal of the Sabin Dam on the Ottaway-Boardman River in northwestern Michigan is on-schedule to be completed in 2019.

When completed, the Sabin Dam Removal project will restore 4,000 feet of the Ottaway-Boardman River. Removal of Sabin Dam will assist in restoring fish passage and providing aquatic connectivity to Grand Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan, while also restoring wetlands and establishing native plant communities. The project will allow movement of wood and sediment through the river system, eliminate thermal disruption, and restore the natural balance between coldwater and coolwater species.

The project is being executed through a Project Partnership Agreement between the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration authority, with federal funding provided through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

[Photo: Construction crews lower the Sabin impoundment one foot per day by demolishing sections of the spillway. Photo Credit: Brett Fessell, Grand Traverse Band Natural Resources Department.]