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Conservation group wants to clean up remnants of Childsdale Dam | Environment

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Conservation group wants to clean up remnants of Childsdale Dam
Conservation group wants to clean up remnants of Childsdale Dam

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.—An environmental group is asking for township support to clean up the remnants of an old dam.

In September 1986, storms dumped up to 13 inches of rain on West Michigan, leading to rising floodwaters that destroyed three dams, including the Childsdale dam.  The dam south of Rockford gave way at 2:15 a.m. on Sept. 12, sending flood waters and chunks of concrete down the Rogue River toward the village of Belmont. The dam was never rebuilt, but some of the debris remains in the river.

Now, nearly 28 years later, the Schrems West Michigan chapter of Trout Unlimited wants to clean up remaining dam debris in the Rogue River and improve the habitat for fish and wildlife.  Josh Zuiderveen of Streamworks, LLC presented the proposed project to the Plainfield Township Board Tuesday, Feb. 18.  He says the Trout Unlimited chapter would like to remove the debris as part of a county coldwater habitat project.   He says the group has a significant amount of grant funding for the project, but is hoping municipalities will match the funds.

Zuiderveen says the City of Rockford plans to participate in the project.  Plainfield Township officials must still vote on the proposal.

If approved, Zuiderveen says the cleanup effort would begin this summer, and continue through 2015. Plainfield Township Superintendent Cameron Van Wyngarden says a professional team would be in charge of the restoration project, with the goal of returning the river to its natural state, making the Rogue River an even more prized recreation resource within the community.

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