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Additional funding still needed for Ypsilanti's Peninsular Dam removal

The Peninsular Dam
Doug Coombe
Concentrate Media
The Peninsular Dam

The effort to remove Ypsilanti's Peninsular Paper Dam, following environmental concerns, is in need of an additional $10 million for restoration efforts. Environmental experts say removing the “high hazard potential"dam would prevent future environmental hazards, protecting the long-term health of the Huron River and surrounding areas.

Daniel Brown is a watershed planner with the Huron River Watershed Council. He says the 2018 feasibility study estimating the cost of the dam removal is still largely accurate, when considering inflation. However, other safety and environmental requirements have increased the cost of the project.

“The primary additional cost from having more work related to the restoration of the river channel and active sediment management.”

Brown says to accommodate the increasing costs, the council has applied to numerous grants, ranging in value from $500,000 to over $7 million.

Despite the high cost, Brown says the removal of a potential environmental hazard, is an important project for the city to see through.

“Most importantly, I think it’ll just improve safety for the City of Ypsilanti and all the people nearby by removing a high hazard dam from the river. So, in terms of what the City of Ypsilanti can do to improve its community resilience in the face of climate change, this is one of the best things I can think of.”

Brown says the removal will also make way for additional development in the surrounding area.

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Taylor Bowie joined WEMU as a reporter in October 2023.
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