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Public sector/Quality of life

Michigan’s recreational trouble spots

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is charged by Congress with maintenance of a variety of harbors and channels around the Great Lakes. However, despite the existence of a federal fee-based fund to finance such maintenance, Congress has not appropriated sufficient funds in recent years to cover all the work. In response the Army Corps has prioritized its work and focused on larger, commercial harbors.

This leaves smaller “recreational” harbors to fend for themselves. The Army Corps now has a list of 15 recreational harbors in the Great Lakes, including six in Michigan, that could pose concern to recreational boaters. The list is based on the Corps’ review of recent surveys of conditions and known sediment deposit rates and while conditions can change rapidly, harbors on the list are generally in the four-foot-or-less range.

An additional 30 recreational harbors on the Great Lakes will need dredging by 2013, according to the Corps.


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