The MDNR’s Fisheries Habitat Grant Program will fund construction design for the removal of the high-hazard Brooklyn Dam on the River Raisin to allow fish migration to upstream lakes and tributaries.
PHOTO COURTESY CHRIS FREIBURGER, NISWANDER ENVIRONMENTAL
By John Hummer
The project recently announced to remove the Brooklyn Dam at the old Ford plant and the up-and-coming Old Irish Mill with funding of $800,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, just received another huge shot in the arm Monday – this time from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
The MDNR has awarded the River Raisin Watershed Council a $252,000 grant to go toward construction design for the dam removal and fisheries habitat improvement project to be funded through the agency’s Fisheries Habitat Grant Program (FHGP). (more below)
“We are pleased that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources recognizes and has awarded funding to the River Raisin Watershed Council to implement the Upper Watershed Connectivity Project, which includes removal of the Brooklyn Dam and restoration of the River Raisin,” said Chris Freiburger of Niswander Environmental out of Brighton, the lead contractor for the project. “The River Raisin Upper Watershed Connectivity Project will reduce a public safety hazard with the removal of an aging “high hazard dam”, address causes of habitat degradation, improve fisheries and angling, as well as improve recreational opportunities such as kayaking and canoeing. This funding allows us the opportunity to begin to gather data and information to make informed decisions as partners collectively move forward.”
A total of 27 full applications were received under the competitive FHGP program, totaling over $5 million in requests. Staff from the MDNR and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) evaluated all 27 applications. The MDNR director-approved 12 projects, utilizing all available funds – approximately $1.8 million.
Additional information will be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks as more details on the project emerge.