Portage Creek Alcott Dam removed

For Immediate Release
​November 14, 2018 

Judy Alfano, Project Manager, Alfanoj@michigan.gov, 517-242-1376
DEQ Media Office, deq-assist@michigan.gov, 517-284-9278

Portage Creek Alcott Dam removed
Project restores natural resources

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) officials announced the completion of the removal of the Alcott Dam on Portage Creek in the City of Kalamazoo. The project is expected to restore natural resources by improving habitat in and along a section of Portage Creek upstream of Alcott Street and allowing fish to swim freely through the former dam area and upstream an additional approximately 1.5 miles of the creek.

Portage Creek Alcott DamThe Alcott Dam removal project was funded with $2,000,000 from the Kalamazoo River Natural Resource Damage Trustees. The Trustee agencies are the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan Office of Attorney General, and the DEQ.

The DEQ also provided approximately $3,100,000 in additional funding for the project to conduct a feasibility study, and to characterize, excavate and properly dispose of contaminated soils and sediments.

The Kalamazoo River Natural Resource Trustees’ portion of funding for the project came from a bankruptcy settlement with LyondellBasell Industries, a liable party for the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contamination of Portage Creek and the Kalamazoo River. The removal of the dam was a high priority project in the Trustees’ restoration plan for Portage Creek.

In addition to removing the dam to improve fish passage and riparian habitat, the project restored 3,000 feet of the creek and its floodplain upstream of the former dam using natural channel  features like creating rock riffles and brush bundles, providing low-lying wetland areas that increase floodplain capacity, and planting native vegetation.  More information on the project, the Trustees’ restoration plans, and the Kalamazoo Natural Resource Damage Assessment can be found at: www.fws.gov/midwest/es/ec/nrda/KalamazooRiver/index.html.

Portage Creek Alcott Dam Stream