Boardman River Dam Removal


The Boardman River is a tributary to Lake Michigan and provides excellent salmonid habitat which is severely disrupted by four hydroelectric dams. Baird is working with the US Army Corps of Engineers to develop dam removal scenarios and feasibility designs to optimize fish habitat, ecosystem services, and local stakeholder needs.

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US Army Corps of Engineers - Detroit District
Grand Traverse & Kalkaska Counties, Michigan
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Grand Traverse & Kalkaska Counties, Michigan

Project Highlights


Concepts were developed through close work with the Corps in development, testing and design of field methods, hydraulic modeling, and sediment budget modeling. Testing, calibration, and execution of the models supported federal permitting and NEPA requirements.

  • New dam removal concepts improved fish habitat while minimizing sediment impacts
  • Created supporting documents for Corps permitting requirements
  • Model sensitivity testing and optimization

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Project Challenges


  • Represent complex physical processes in large watersheds.
  • Select models for diverse studies.
  • Varied scenarios and stakeholder needs in each watershed.

Baird Solutions


  • Detailed model review, testing, calibration, and validation, and unique combinations of model approaches created a “big picture” result.
  • Unavailability of suitable commercial models resulted in custom modeling.
  • Solutions were customized for local stakeholders.

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