The Boardman/Ottaway River Network is dedicated to the preservation, protection, restoration, cultural significance, and sustainable use of the Boardman-Ottaway River and its 287-square mile watershed. This network acknowledges the significance of the Boardman River Watershed Prosperity Plan as a vision and framework for multijurisdictional cooperation to improve the environmental, economic, and social prosperity of the watershed region.
In 2020, over three dozen representatives of local organizations and jurisdictions participated in a discussion about what’s next for the Boardman/Ottaway River. Participants generated, ranked, and discussed high impact, high urgency issues that require coordination and resources to accomplish. This discussion validated the need for a coordinated network of expertise, resources, and leadership to accomplish big things. The identified need for organized cooperation is also reflected in the Boardman River Watershed Prosperity Plan – to create community ownership of the plan and community capacity to ensure the plan’s recommended actions are achieved.
In 2021, a Leadership Team was established from organizations committed to working together to facilitate the network. Members of the Leadership Team include:
- Amy Beyer, Director, Conservation Resource Alliance
- Courtney Hessell, Environmental Services Coordinator, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
- Koffi Kpachavi, Executive Director, Grand Traverse Conservation District
- Christine Crissman, Executive Director, The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay
- Harry Burkholder, Chief Operations Officer, Traverse City Downtown Development Authority
The first meeting of the Boardman/Ottaway River Network took place in spring 2022. Everyone came together to discuss the intention and framework of the network and get to the important work of protecting the Boardman/Ottaway River and its watershed. Currently, meetings are scheduled biannually.
If you are interested in learning more or participating in the network, please contact Christine Crissman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 231.935.1514 x1.
Boardman/Ottaway River Recreation Plan
Members of the Boardman/Ottaway River Network identified the urgent need to develop a plan for the Boardman/Ottaway River that protects the health of the river ecosystem while providing opportunities for public access and recreational use. In May 2023, network members and key regional leaders participated in a planning session to develop the initial strategic vision, goals, and objectives for this plan. Overall, participants agreed it was essential to prioritize promoting and sustaining and healthy, thriving river ecosystem so recreational users can enjoy paddling, fishing, and swimming on the river.
This session resulted in identifying and defining the following strategic goals. As a result of this plan:
- the Boardman/Ottaway River is thriving,
- a legal framework/treaty for the river is established,
- a robust and comprehensive education program is in place,
- a diverse and sustainable funding plan is developed and pursued,
- recreational opportunities are available for all abilities, and
- all user groups are actively involved in plan development and implementation.
Currently, action teams are focusing on two of these strategic goals – a legal framework/treaty for the river is established and a robust and comprehensive education program is in place. Action team members are developing feasible workplans that focus on implementing “quick wins” achievable within an 8 to 10-month cycle.
If you are interested in joining the action team focusing on establishing a legal framework/treaty for the river please contact Steve Largent at email@example.com or 231.941.0960 x16.
If you are interested in joining the action team focusing on putting a robust and comprehensive education program in place, please contact Christine Crissman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 231.935.1514 x1.