Public Hearing Held For Sabin Dam Removal

“It’s been a team effort for years and now we’re looking at Phase 3,” said Frank Dituri, chair of the Implementation Team.

After the Boardman Dam comes down this year another Boardman River Dam will follow next year.

An informational meeting and public hearing were held Tuesday night for the Sabin Dam.

The Boardman River Project has been working to remove the dams for years, restoring the river ecologically.

The Brown Bridge Dam was removed back in 2012 and the Boardman River Dam is now in the process of being removed.

Next will be the Sabin Dam next year, Phase 3 of the river restoration

9&10’s Whitney Amann has continuing coverage on what’s next for the restoration project.

“Tonight’s important because it’s the public’s opportunity to come and voice their opinion regarding the permit that is in process for the removal of Sabin Dam,” said Dituri.

The US Army Corps of Engineers and a team overseeing the Boardman River Restoration Project held an informational meeting on the removal of the Sabin Dam Tuesday night.

“The Corps of Engineers thoroughly analyzed and researched all the pros and cons associated with taking out the dam, there were way more pros than cons and so that’s what resulted in our ultimate recommendation to remove the dams,” said Carl Platz, Great Lakes Program Manager for the US Army Corps of Engineers.

A public hearing by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality was held after for community members to share their concerns, with some concerns about what fish will pass through after the dam is removed.

“I’m in favor of the removal of the Sabin Dam but I guess with much concern about the passage of fish and what species may be passed ultimately,” said a community member.

But the DNR is already working on how to block invasive species.

“It’s a good thing for the fish, it’s a good thing for people, we’ve got a lot of native species or desired species in Lake Michigan that need rivers as a critical component to their life cycle,” said Heather Hettinger, Fisheries Management Biologist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

“We should be in a position to complete design and advertise a construction contract by this winter and by early spring we should have a contract awarded with construction of the Sabin Dam removal slated for next summer,” said Platz.

For more information and the current status of the application for the permit, click here.

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