TRAVERSE CITY — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources approved $378,000 in funding for the Boardman River dam removal project.
In total, six Dam Management Grant Program projects were included in the $2.3 million Friday announcement.
Todd Kalish, acting Lake Michigan Basin coordinator for the DNR, said the funding goes toward phase two of the Boardman project that will ultimately remove the Boardman and Sabin dams. Phase one removed the Brown Bridge dam.
“This funding is really critical,” Kalish said.
The Conservation Resource Alliance is the recipient of the Grand Traverse County funding, but the project will be overseen by the Boardman River Dams Implementation Team.
Amy Beyer, director of the Conservation Resource Alliance, said the money will go toward design and permitting and, ultimately, dam removal and construction.
Dam removal projects in Allegan, Gogebic, Ionia, Shiawassee and Tuscola counties will also receive funding.
The Boardman River project started in 2005 as the result of a settlement agreement to decommission the Brown Bridge dam, assess options for other Boardman River dams and carry out recommendations from other dam owners.
Phase one of the project removed the Brown Bridge dam using funding from the Great Lakes Fisheries Trust, Bureau of Indian Affairs and local philanthropic sources.
Kalish said phase two’s timeline would depend on available funding.
“We’re trying to work in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers, because they’re actively involved in the project,” he said.