From the time of European settlement in the 1800s, Michigan’s rivers have been dammed, channelized, and pinched by road crossings. Often heating up in the backwaters of constrictions and degraded by eroding soils, our rivers were like unhealthy, clogged arteries. Thankfully, much of that is changing . . .
This is the fourth in a series of Nature Change discussions led by writer, fisherman and river watcher, Michael Delp. In this video, we hear from one of Northwest Michigan’s leaders in efforts to restore rivers to their previous splendor. Amy Beyer, Executive Director of the Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA), talks with Michael about the troubled past of regional river systems and connections to the Great Lakes.
CRA is a nonprofit organization that works to restore and revitalize rivers throughout Northwest Lower Michigan. While this discussion focuses on the Boardman River and its tributaries, the challenges and solutions discussed apply to most major watersheds throughout Northern Michigan.
Amy offers an illustrated description of the on-going work to remove dams and restore the Boardman River to its original stream banks. We also see and hear about the challenges presented when streams are forced into culverts to accommodate road construction. Working with county road commissions, state agencies and many other nonprofit groups, CRA is helping to remove and replace structures that constrict river flow and disrupt habitats. Amy says this work not only returns rivers to “mother nature’s design” but makes river systems and the Great Lakes more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
Watch this video for the full details!