Upcoming Key Dates for the River Restoration project and Grand Rapids Whitewater

The Grand River’s restoration has a few key dates approaching over the next few weeks, according to Richard Bishop, President & CEO of Grand Rapids Whitewater:

March 23rd: If Congress adopts a new federal budget by March 23, then $1.8 million will be set aside for the river restoration project in the Great Lakes Fishery Commission’s budget.

The $1.8 million is part of the $10 million that is needed to construct an Adjustable Hydraulic Structure (AHS)  that will be built across the Grand River before the 6th Street Dam is removed. The purpose of this structure is to provide existing, or greater, level of protection against invasive sea lamprey than is currently provided by the aging  6th Street Dam.  If Congress does not pass the budget, it will probably adopt a "continuing resolution" to keep the current spending programs in place. Bishop said they will have to start over and attempt to add the money for the dam in next year's budget.

April 16th: Grand Rapids Whitewater hopes to complete a "Memorandum of Understanding" that will be signed by all the federal, state and local authorities that will provide governance over the long-term operations and maintenance of the AHS Bishop said.

“The memorandum will allow them to formally apply for the state and federal permits that will be needed for them to take out the dams and restore the rapids,” says Bishop. Grand Rapids Whitewater hopes to raise a total of $9.7 million from the state and local governmental sources, $15.2 million from the federal government, and $19.7 million from private sources for the $44.7 million project.

There is a goal of completing the river restoration project in 2024 and 2025.

Courtesy photo | Downtown Development Authority

The information in this post was originally taken from “Grand Rapids Whitewater eyes key dates for $45M river restoration project” on mLive by Jim Harger and can be found here.

More information on the River Restoration and Revitalization Project can be found here and the Grand Rapids Whitewater website can be found here

Cara Decker