Public invited to view dam removal, participate in restoration activities on Gunpowder Creek
The last remaining dam on Gunpowder Creek in Boone County is being removed this month. Its removal and associated river restoration work will improve water quality, fish passage, and public safety on Gunpowder Creek. The public is invited on Saturday, April 1 to view the work completed and participate in tree plantings and other restoration activities.
The remnant dam is on a portion of Gunpowder Creek that runs through the Dan Beard Council, Boy Scouts of America owned Camp Michaels property in Union, KY. “Environmental stewardship has always been one of the main goals of the Boy Scouts of America. With the help of the Boone County Conservation District and the Ohio River Foundation (ORF), removing the Gunpowder Creek dam will help maintain the safety of our Scouts and the visual aesthetics of the Camp Michaels property,” said Jason Neal, General Manager of camp properties.
Boone County Conservation District worked with Ohio River Foundation (ORF), the dam removal project manager, to obtain $65,000 to remove the dam. A portion of this funding comes from The U.S. Fish & Wildlife’s Fish Passage program. This project furthers ORF’s efforts to reconnect rivers and restore habitats.
Gunpowder Creek, a tributary of the Ohio River, is considered an impaired waterway. The Gunpowder Creek Watershed is 58 square miles and contains 614 miles of waterways. State and federal governments have recognized the importance of this watershed and continue to target significant funds to improving its condition.
Watershed problems include hydromodification, sedimentation, stormwater runoff, and bank erosion. Removal of the barrier will reduce the amount of erosion in the creek by lessening the opportunity for artificial pool creation upstream of the site and associated sloughing and creek bank erosion.
Mark Jacobs, Watershed Program Director for Boone County Conservation District, comments, “Removal of the low-head dam at Camp Michaels follows the mission of the Gunpowder Creek Watershed Initiative by improving the overall health of Gunpowder Creek. Removing this obstacle will help stabilize the stream banks, improve aquatic habitat and fish passage, and help protect the nearby facilities at the Boy Scout camp.”
ORF is helping other communities in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky to raise the necessary funds for dam removals and low-water crossing replacements (with bridges) to achieve the social, environmental, and economic benefits of river protection and restoration. “We applaud the Boone County Conservation District and Dan Beard Council, Boy Scouts of America for having the vision and ambition that this project requires,” said Rich Cogen, Executive Director of Ohio River Foundation.
On Saturday, April 1 the public is invited to join the Boy Scouts in tree plantings and other habitat restoration activities.
Founded in 2000, Ohio River Foundation is dedicated to protecting and improving the water quality and ecology of the Ohio River and all waters in its 11-state watershed. ORF works towards these goals through environmental education and conservation activities that serve to inspire environmental stewardship for the benefit and enjoyment of all current and future citizens. Its award winning River Explorer education and Youth Conservation Team stewardship programs reach more than 5,000 young people every year helping to develop and train the next generation of environmental stewards.
View the Camp Michaels Gun Powder Creek Dam Removal Project or learn more about Barrier Removal