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Lmichigan

Lower water may aid Grand River cleanup

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This will be really interesting to see. I only remember one other time the river was lowered this far, and that was years back. I remember seeing all kinds of tires and shopping carts poking up above the river. This article also has a pretty good description about the actual mechanics of lowering the North Lansing Dam.

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Lower water may aid Grand River cleanup

Lansing do-gooders are hoping to plunge into a cleanup project along the banks of Grand River, now that its water levels are lowered.

Erik Larson, director of the Impression 5 Science Center, said he hopes the lower levels would help a river cleanup planned for Sept. 22.

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I am all for cleaning up that section of the river, but not at the expense of extending the timetable and likely affecting the salmon spawning season. Knowingly damaging the existing ecosystem is never a good idea.

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Actually, opening back up the river (taking out ALL of the dams) would actually make the river more natural and healthy, though I'm not exactly sure what this temporary lowering is doing to the river, and no one really seems to know oddly enough.

I was out biking on the trail, today (and got pictures) and man does the river stink. It's usually low at Moores Park, but entire sections of the river bed are showing, now. I've been thinking about this ever since they announced this months ago, and I still don't know what to think. Taking out the dams, again, ALWAYS make rivers healthier, but it means a much smaller and wimpier river and disrupting everything that has been built directly on the rivers edge since the dams were put in decades ago. The docks in Riverfront park are now on dry land.

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The river bed is always fairly exposed at this time of the year. When I was a kid growing up on Barnes, I spent the much of the hot summer months playing around in the dried up river bed. It was all fun and games until BWL security yelled at us for climbing the wall. Yes, I know you are all jealous of my exciting childhood. :P

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Yes, that part of the river is always low, but you can tell its dropped ever further. The pictures I post will not do it justice. Let's just say the island at Island Avenue has grown quite a bit. It could easily cease to be an island if it gets too much lower.

EDIT:

Saginaw Street Bridge showing the drop:

854619715_a998693174_o.jpg

Looking north from Oakland Avenue and the 'new' riverfront.

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Looking upriver from the Brenke Fish Ladder, which the water isn't even moving down, anymore.

854619735_ad50c05daa_o.jpg

North Lansing Dam, exposed, and adjoining spillway

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Moores Park looking towards the Moores Park Dam

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Moores Park Dam, unchanged.

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Grand River looking downstream towards the Grand River island.

855499380_01a7a42da2_o.jpg

I didn't get pictures of where the river drop is most apparent, and that's just west of Washington Avenue.

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While we're on the subject of the river...

The big BWL cooling towers just west of the dam--is the water released into the river the result of the foul odor of the river? It seems like the smell is the worst between the two dams, but I never notice the odor in other areas up or downstream.

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No, the smell is due to stagnate water. Actually taking out the dams would speed up the river and lessen the smell once the banks dried up. At the moment, it's particularly putrid because of the drying riverbanks.

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Looks like the river is now fully lowered:

871528921_bd115cf615_o.jpg

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Just a random shot of the historic (but poorly maintained) North Grand River Avenue Bridge. Still, the thing is built like a rock.

871528935_a409d95c1b_o.jpg

Under Island Avenue, the river is so low that it only flows under one small section of the bridge.

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If the river is really fully lowered, its not nearly as far as I had expected. I was expecting to see the dam completely dissapear.

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Looking through an earlier article it says that the lowering was to be over 8 days starting on the 16th, so it may get a bit lower, tomorrow, but it's pretty much completed.

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I've lived in arid places too long. Even lowered, the river pretty impressive!

The smell is also from decaying algae, seaweed, and other exposed treasures of the deep.

Thanks for the shots ...

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Hello, all!

I was doing a search for additional news on the drawdown (lowering of the Grand River) and found your forum. If you're local, you may want to know about a clean up being scheduled:

http://www.drawdowncleanup.org

There is a slideshow on the site of some of the "treasures" we've found and a map of all the larger items to be removed.

Trying to get the regularly scheduled Adopt-a-River clean up moved to coincide with the drawdown ended up in a bigger stink than the river, so we're doing our own grassroots effort. Wish us luck - - or better yet, come join the fun!

Yvonne LeFave, Project Coordinator

Drawdown Cleanup: What a Grand Idea!

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I always like seeing all the hidden junk in the river, it's sort of exciting to look for next wierd or unusual artifact. I could only imagine what is in the part of the river where water still runs. Also, with all that metal you guys could actually make money off this clean-up!

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