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Restore the Rapids | Michigan regulators host public hearing about Grand River

The more than decades-long effort to restore the Grand River's rapids in downtown continues Thursday evening with a virtual hearing.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — The push to bring the rapids back to Grand Rapids is continuing Thursday evening with a virtual public hearing about the prospect. 

Grand Rapids Whitewater and the city of Grand Rapids want to get a permit to remove four low-level head dams between Bridge Street and Fulton Street. 

The idea is to replace them with rocks and boulders. 

The Michigan Department of Energy, Great Lakes, and Environment is hosting the hearing, and will ultimately decide whether to approve the project in the future.

You can attend Thursday's meeting at 6 p.m. by registering here

"The public has the opportunity to provide their comments on the application that was submitted to the state, specifically to the Department of Energy, Great Lakes and Environment. They are the agency that will review the application and determine whether or not it meets the applicable laws, and then whether they will issue a permit for construction. So this is the chance for the public to come and weigh in on the proposed improvements in the Grand River from just upstream of Bridge Street down to Fulton Street Bridge," Matt Chapman, Chief Program Officer GR Whitewater said. 

State regulators have up to a year to review the permit application. 

The soonest construction could start is July 2023. 

To learn more about other Grand Rapids Whitewater projects, click here.

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