Group offers plan to restore Grand River

A Grand Rapids group has introduced a plan to restore rapids to the Grand River in the city.

The Grand Rapids Press reports ( ) that Grand Rapids WhiteWater wants to return the riverbed to its natural state. Its $27.5 million plan calls for partial removal of the Sixth Street Dam and other dams in the downtown area. It also calls for an adjustable steel dam upstream to keep sea lamprey from spawning in the river.

River Restoration is the Colorado engineering firm hired to evaluate the river for the past two years and authored the plan. The plan now goes to public hearings through next year.

The plan says restoration would result in a 500 percent increase in fish holding habitat and a fivefold increase in habitat diversity.