Boardman River Dam Removals, Michigan

Beginning in 2011 the Boardman River Implementation Team (a collaboration of State, Federal agencies, Indian Tribes, local city and county governments, non-profits and a local energy provider) began largest river restoration project in the history of Michigan. Almost ten years later, the removal of the Sabin, Boardman and Brown Bridge dams was complete. The projects reconnected 160 miles of free-flowing coldwater stream and involved direct restoration of more than three river miles of native coldwater fisheries habitat, more than 250 acres of wetlands, and nearly 60 acres of upland habitat.

Aerial view of the Sabin reservoir after construction (2019). Photo credit: CRA-AECOM

Location of the former Brown Bridge dam (1500’ long and 40’ tall).

Sabin Dam prior to removal.

Delta region of the Sabin reservoir with restoration of the main river channel underway.

Restoration of floodplain areas within the former reservoirs included extensive revegetation efforts.