CRWC Announces Award Winning Restoration Project: The Paint Creek Habitat Restoration Dam Removal 

The Clinton River Watershed Council proudly announces that the Paint Creek Habitat Restoration Dam Removal project in Oakland Township is the recipient of four awards from across the state of Michigan.  The civil engineering firm of Hubbell, Roth and Clark, the Clinton River Watershed Council and a Technical Team of Stream Ecologists designed and engineered the removal of the Paint Creek Dam and restored 2000 lineal feet of stream to restore fish habitat and ecological restoration to the last cold water stream in southeast Michigan.

The cost of the entire project was $725,000 and was made possible by an EPA grant through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. For years, the Paint Creek Dam had been the number one dam slated to be removed by the Department of Natural Resources as it was an impediment to fish passage and aquatic organism transport. The dam was built in 1840 to power a grist mill but by the early 1900’s, it ceased to operate. The dam no longer served a purpose to the connecting mill race and today the Paint Creek Cider Mill uses an aesthetic wheel that is powered by an electric generator.

“Paint Creek is one of the highest quality streams in the Lake Erie Management Unit and the dam removal/stream restoration was a high priority for Fisheries Division” explains Jim Francis, Fisheries Biologist with the MDNR. He continues by saying “ In addition to restoring fish passage, this project benefits the ecology of Paint Creek by re-connecting the floodplain and wetlands along the stream, as well as stabilizing the banks to prevent soil erosion.  This project improves both water quality in Paint Creek, as well as habitat. Successful completion of this project contributes to the delisting of the Clinton River as an Area of Concern.”

The following awards have been presented to Hubbell, Roth and Clark and the Clinton River Watershed Council:

  1. American Council of Engineering (ACEC)/Michigan – the Engineering and Surveying  Excellence Award Competition – Merit Award
  2. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) – southeast branch – 2013 Quality of Life Project of the Year
  3. American Public Works Association – Project of the Year
  4. Clinton River Watershed Council – received the MDNR Partners in Conservation Award for the Paint Creek project and the Cascade and Wolcott dam removals and stream restoration