by Dr. Dan O’Keefe, Michigan Sea Grant

State funding was appropriated for channelization of 22.5 miles of the Grand River. Downstream communities are voicing concerns over long-term economic and environmental costs.

The Grand River Waterway is a proposed seven-foot deep, 22.5-mile long channel that would involve dredging portions of the Grand River between Fulton Street in Grand Rapids and Bass River State Recreation Area in Eastmanville. The channel would allow large powerboats to travel from Grand Rapids to Grand Haven and would remove 50 acres of shallow-water fish habitat. Removal of these shallow areas would likely have additional impacts that would ripple through the river environment for decades to come.

Read more: