By-laws were adopted and the Board of
Directors were formed in January 1996.
were established for the second Tuesday of each month at the Dowagiac Conservation
Club, located north of Dowagiac on M-51 at Cook Lake.
In November 1996, a fly-over was conducted
over the Dowagiac River, from head waters to mouth, to document old meanders
and identify potential areas for restoration. Flight time was donated by
the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station in Traverse City. A riparian survey was
distributed in March of 1997 to get a better understanding of riparian
owner attitudes towards recreation, land use, environmental protection,
and public funding.
In the summer of 1998, the University
of Michigan completed a study of the feasibility of restoring meanders
in the Dowagiac River system with a focus on potential ecological, economic,
and social impacts.
In September 1998, MEANDRS received non-profit
501(c)(3) tax exempt status with the IRS.
Dodd Park in Cass County was chosen as
the site for a pilot meander restoration project. Grant proposals were
submitted in 1999 to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality -
Clean Water Action Plan Fund and the Great Lakes Protection Fund.
A Clean Water Action Plan grant was approved
for Dodd Park at the end of 1999. Matching funds and in-kind contributions
will be sought locally.
Joe Ervin, a verteran water scientist,
was chosen to manage the pilot meander restoration at Dodd Park.
Cass County Road Commission approved
the Dodd Park project and the Cass County Board of Commissioners granted
seed money to kick-off the project.
The following Consultants are engaged
in planning the Dodd Park project as of Sept. 2000:
Tetra Tech MPS
provides professional engineering consultation to municipal and private
clients in the areas of wastewater, dinking water, water resources management,
transportation, facilities, environmental remediation, contract operations,
computer controls, community development and application of state of the
art techniques for analyzing the hydrologic and hydraulic characteristics
of watersheds and river systems throughout the U.S., and have successfully
utilized those techniques in the preparation of basin management studies
and stormwater or surface water management plans, master drainage plans,
analysis and design of flood protection systems, hydraulic design, channel
and bank protection and restoration, river management studies, watershed
system analysis, and water supply systems.
founded in 1983, is a 24 person water resource consulting firm which specialized
in stream, river and wetland design and construction with the completion
of over 400 restoration projects nationally. Inter-Fluve's technical staffs
composed of plant ecologists, fisheries biologists, hydrologists, geomorphologists,
hydraulic engineers, CADD technicians and construction mangers, have broad
backgrounds in fluvial processes, river mechanics and water resource menagment.
Inter-Fluve's plant ecologists, fluvial geomorphologists and hydrologists
are all accustomed to working in the manipulated urban and agricultural
watersheds found in Michigan. Inter-Fluve also offers a wide range of project
experience in the region dealing with channel repair and streambank bioengineering.
The Abonmarche Group,
based in Benton Harbor, MI, as founded in 1979 to provide engineering,
architectural, surveying, environmental, landscape architecture, energy
conservation and planning services to municipal, private institutional,
commercial, and industrial clients. In addition to complete professional
design and project management, they also provide community and private
planning; land development; feasibility studies; professional engineering
and architectural consulting and design; environmental assessments; energy
and technical energy audits; hydrographic and land surveying; financing;
state and federal grant assistance; and construction management.
The November, 2000 meeting was publicized
and attended by approximately 32 persons. Paul Rentschler of Tetra Tech
MPS gave a presentation on site analysis and hydrologic models. The proposed
meander restoration design will use as much as possible of the existing
channel to limit disturbance of the Park. The existing banks at the historic
meander have good tree growth established for stabilization. The plan is
to raise the water level of the drain up to the elevation of the meander,
reducing the amount of excavation necessary and re-establishing a connection
to the floodplain of the river.
The channel will be designed to contain flows
associated with a 2-year flood occurrence.
Flows higher than the 2-year flood occurrence
will crest the banks into the floodplain.
Concern about potential upstream flooding resulting
from raising the elevation into the restoration site is being addressed
by the hydrological modeling which indicate there will only be a 6-inch
water level increase at Indian Lake Road Bridge during a 100-year flood
event. Flows of this magnitude would still be contained within the banks
of the channelized portion of the river.
Volunteer labor and donated materials (logs,
rock, etc.) will be needed to help reduce the cost of the reconstruction.
Concerns expressed from the attendees at the
November 2000 meeting included:
Has the USGS been contacted regarding possible
effects on gauging station at Indian Lake Road?
How much backwater would be in the abandoned
ditch post restoration and would it increase water temperature of the river?
How would sediments be prevented from going down
stream during construction?
Has anything been done to prevent manure run-off
from the neighboring farm?
Other activities such as those of the
Dowagiac River Watershed Project, the Wetlands Reserve Program, the Southwest
Michigan Land Conservancy and the Natural Resources Conservation Service
which has named the Dowagiac a Conservation Priority Area, are all ongoing
and the synergy with MEANRS effors is encouraging.
MEANDRS continues to work toward improving
the DRS for recreation and other uses while maintaining and respecting
the rights of riparian owners, farmers, and other stakeholders within the
watershed and community.
Be sure and visit our 'Activities
Bulletin Board' to see how YOU CAN GET INVOLVED.