The Upper River Raisin Watershed Restoration and Connectivity Project (URRWRCP) is an ongoing project involving the removal of the Brooklyn Dam, restoration of approximately 2,600 ft. of the River Raisin utilizing Natural Channel Design (NCD) through the former impoundment, replacement of the Bridge Street bridge, and construction of natural rock arch rapids over Nooney Dam. The Brooklyn Dam is 1 of 85 dams in the State of Michigan that EGLE classifies as High Hazard Potential as loss of life and severe impacts are expected if a dam failure occurred. The dam was constructed in 1939 and was used to supply hydroelectricity for the adjacent manufacturing plant. The dam is no longer used to supply hydroelectric power but had been in operation as recently as 2006.

This project will permanently eliminate risk and liabilities associated with the dam, improve public safety, and restore habitat and resiliency in the river. Project activities will provide up to 44 miles of connectivity to headwater reaches of the River Raisin allowing for daily, seasonal and annual fish movement to required and preferred habitat necessary to meet life history requirements.

The URRWRCP is being funded by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan Department of Transportation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

Niswander Environmental is partnering with the River Raisin Watershed Council, Jackson County Drain Office, Village of Brooklyn, DNR, MDOT, EGLE, USFWS, Green Watershed Restoration, and Five Smooth Stones in order to complete this project. Partners efforts to date include development of grants to obtain necessary funding for project execution. Feasibility work conducted includes geomorphic assessment, mussel and fish surveys, sediment analysis and design alternative analysis. Upcoming 2023 work efforts includes additional topography survey, wetland assessment, utility investigation, hydraulic and hydrology studies. During the impoundment drawdown and dam removal phases, ongoing mussel and fish rescues will be conducted daily. Information collected during the feasibility study will be utilized to develop final design and permit development.

Please visit the River Raisin Watershed Council website at this link to get updates on the Upper River Raisin Watershed Connectivity and Restoration Project.

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