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Alcott Street Dam on Portage Creek being removed!
Midwest Region, February 1, 2018
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Aerial photo of the Alcott Dam Removal Project (adapted from Google Earth image, April 2017) and figure showing the plans for creek and floodplain restoration (AECOM figure from permit application, March 2017)
Aerial photo of the Alcott Dam Removal Project (adapted from Google Earth image, April 2017) and figure showing the plans for creek and floodplain restoration (AECOM figure from permit application, March 2017) - Photo Credit: AECOM and Google Earth

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Trustees for the Natural Resource Damage Assessment for the Superfund Site along the Kalamazoo River in Michigan have announced the start of construction work to remove the Alcott Street Dam and restore approximately 3,000 feet of Portage Creek.

 

This project includes the following:

• Creation of rock riffles in six areas to provide habitat and guide the decreasing elevation of the creek over the 3,000 feet upstream of the dam in place of the current sudden drop in elevation at the dam
• Creation of concrete wing walls in the former dam location to protect the Alcott Street bridge over Portage Creek
• Removal of about 50,000 cubic yards of material to help shape the new channel, provide the creek with a clean bottom and banks, and increase the floodplain capacity in the area
• Removal of the dam and associated infrastructure to be able to naturalize the creek bed with a rocky riffle in that location
• Planting of native vegetation along the banks of the creek and in the floodplain, including wetland areas

This project is expected to provide the following benefits:
• Allow fish to move back and forth through this section of Portage Creek
• Increase the number of fish species in this section of Portage Creek and upstream to the next dam
• Increase the abundance and diversity of benthic invertebrates in this section of Portage Creek
• Improve habitat and increase prey for other wildlife using the riparian corridor of Portage Creek
• Provide additional flood storage capacity and reduce amount of flooding downstream

The trustees selected this project in their Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment, Portage Creek and Operable Unit 1 [available at https://www.fws.gov/midwest/es/ec/nrda/KalamazooRiver/index.html)]. One of the trustees, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, is managing the project on behalf of the trustees as well as providing additional funding for the project. Some of the planning for the project was completed using funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding. Lisa Williams from the Service and Mark Ducharme of MDEQ, along with contractors to MDEQ, described the project at a public meeting held in Kalamazoo, MI, on February 1, 2018.


Contact Info: Lisa Williams, 517-351-8324, lisa_williams@fws.gov
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