37 miles of the Kalamazoo river have remained closed since 2010 when Enbridge spilled nearly a million gallons of oil into the water.
At a meeting in Marshall Tuesday night the Calhoun County Health Department announced it will re-open a small section of the river.
On Monday, the signs still stood in warning, no fishing, no swimming and no boating allowed.
But that will all change for a nearly 3 mile stretch of the river starting Wednesday morning.
That's welcome news to those who've been waiting to get back to their river.
Jim Coury, Lives in Marshall: “For fishing, for wildlife enjoyment, for just being on the river.”
Dave Fhaner, Lives in Marshall: “I just got frustrated to a point where for 2 years we couldn't use it and its a big part of my life during the summer time.”
But re-opening the section doesn't mean its perfect; Enbridge says its likely you'll still see oil sheen on the water.
Jason Manshum, Enbridge Spokesman: “We're doing several studies right now in collaboration with the agencies to determine how much is really there.”
But they say any remaining oil in the river isn't hazardous at this point and the fisherman we talked to aren't going to let that stand in their way.
Fhaner: “Once you start fishing the river there's nothing like it I'll tell ya.”
Coury: “Its the one thing that flows through this whole region and connects our people.”
And they hope as work progresses more sections will open, reconnecting the people with their treasured resource.
The health department hopes to reopen the remaining 34 miles by mid-summer if all goes as planned.