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Published: Wednesday, 12/5/2001

Ottawa Hills backs grant for study on dam removal

The village of Ottawa Hills will send a letter of support for a request for a research grant to help study what the effects would be if the Ottawa River dam near the eastern edge of the village is removed.

Marc Thompson, village manager, said during a meeting of the council's service and environment committee that he would prepare the letter for the application that will be made by two university professors.

Dr. Hans Gottgens of the University of Toledo and a specialist in aquatic ecology, and Dr. James Evans, a geologist at Bowling Green State University, have agreed to apply for a grant.

Dr. Gottgens said there are several sources of possible funding, but neither the specific source, nor the amount of money that might be needed has been determined.

He said he will study the sediment in the water to determine possible levels of contamination, and Dr. Evans will consider the effect on water flow if the dam is removed.

The subject of removing the dam, built in 1928, was brought up earlier this year by a fishery biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Susan Wells, of the government service, said removing the dam would re-establish the river's natural flow, allow more fish to move upstream, establish better nursery areas for small fish, and generate vegetation for birds and small animals.

Mr. Thompson said residents are concerned about what the effect might be on the river if the dam is removed and the village administration supports the effort to find out.

Another concern is the possibility of removing an Ottawa River dam at Camp Miakonda.

They have questioned whether environmental problems may occur if that dam is removed and water and sediment flows toward the village.

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