Grand Rapids Whitewater’s Mission:
We are a group of individuals, rowing and paddling clubs, anglers and businesses dedicated to revitalizing the Grand River and putting the namesake rapids back in the Grand for everyone’s enjoyment. Grand Rapids Whitewater is a 501c3 non-profit organization.
It is our goal to partner with the city and region to create a safer, more exciting river experience for everyone. The project consists of four significant elements including:
- Removing five aging dams, including the Sixth Street dam, thereby revealing the regionally rare bedrock rapids in the upper reach of the project area currently submerged by the Sixth Street dam
- Restoring the lower rapids and restoring a more natural river flow by installing boulders and substrate
- Constructing at the upstream end of the project (north of Leonard Street Bridge) a new operable structure providing increased public safety and flood control, preventing non-native Sea Lamprey from spawning upstream, allowing fish passage, and providing recreational benefits to enhance rowing upstream and kayaking/canoeing downstream
- Improving habitat for fish and other aquatic species by restoring historical spawning areas for threatened Lake Sturgeon, increasing opportunities for fish passage and connectivity, and improving the quality of habitat for federally endangered mussels.
These elements would restore the river as close to its natural state as possible while still providing a barrier for invasive species, providing flood protection upstream, and avoiding any impacts downstream. Additionally, these changes would provide environmental, social and cultural, and economic benefits to the City of Grand Rapids.