Funded by Ohio EPA Section 319 Grant

CRWP assisted the Village of Chagrin Falls with an Ohio EPA Section 319 grant to modify the Lower IVEX Dam and restore approximately 2,200 linear feet of the Chagrin River in the former dam pool. After submittal of the grant, the property was purchased by the Spillway development group who proposes to repurpose the original 1858 structure into a brewery, restaurant, outdoor plaza, office, and other commercial uses.

The Village worked with Spillway to lower the dam, restore the Chagrin River, and expand Whitesburg Preserve. Spillway, the Village, and CRWP worked with the Army Corps of Engineers, Ohio EPA, ODNR, and the State Historic Preservation Office to obtain the permits for dam construction and stream restoration, including mitigation for impacts to the historic dam structure.

The dam was lowered incrementally which allowed the stream to establish natural stream features including riffles, pools, and accessible floodplain. Following the permanent lowering of the concrete spillway of the dam, the stream channel is restored and vegetation is being planted in the restored riparian corridor of the former lake bed.  This project not only restores a significant section of the Chagrin River, but also lowers the risk of future problems with the dam as the amount of water that can be impounded behind the lower dam is much less.

This project lowered the Lower IVEX dam resulting in a naturally flowing stream corridor and a lower risk dam structure. The restored stream corridor provides improved fish and aquatic bug habitat through a free flowing stream condition.

The stumps of trees that have been buried under the Lower IVEX dam pool since the initial dam was constructed in this valley in the 1840s can now be seen throughout the restored stream section.

This product or publication was financed in part or totally through a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, under the provisions of Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act. The contents and views, including any opinions, findings, or conclusions or recommendation, contained in this publication are those of the authors and have not been subject to any U.S. EPA or Ohio EPA peer or administrative review and may not necessarily reflect the views of either Agency, and no official endorsement should be inferred.