Cuyahoga Falls Dams to be Demolished in Summer

Falls Service Director Valerie Wax Carr and representatives of RiverWorks held an informational meeting at Lions Park Lodge recently to talk about the pending removal of two downtown dams. Nearly 200 people attended.

The Mill Dam, behind the Sheraton Suites, will be the first to go. Set-up should begin June 10, with work on the dam scheduled to start June 17. If the weather cooperates, the dam should be gone by July 1, when removal of the LeFever or Powerhouse Dam north of Portage Trail will begin.

Legislation to Help Dredging

After a 3-foot drop in water levels on Lake St. Clair last summer many marinas are ready to embark on an expensive reality this spring.

The Detroit Yacht Club on Belle Isle has started a $1.036 million dredging project and the cost will be shared by club members who directly benefit from the dredging of its harbor.

Closer to home in the quaint Macomb County community of Harrison Township is Belle Maer Harbor, where a proposed dredging project is expected to cost about $80,000. Marina ownership will pay the bill.

It all adds up for private marinas on the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair that were left out when Governor Rick Snyder announced plans last month to fund public harbor dredging across the state.

Expert: Fish Kill a Nuisance But Not Dangerous

Thousands of dead fish are now washing up along the shorelines of Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie. But an expert says there is no cause for alarm.

 The fish are gizzard shad and the late winter "die offs" are fairly common. The fish can't tolerate the cold, and die under the ice. As the ice melts, they wash up along the shoreline.

Dredging Money Pouring into New Buffalo

The New Buffalo CIty Council moved forward with plans to dredge shallow areas of the Galien River used by boaters to travel in the federal channel between the city’s harbor, boat launch and Lake Michigan during its Feb. 19 meeting.

The council unanimously approved a $6,500 bid for “Launch Access Channel” dredging engineering and a $7,138.75 bid for the launch channel dredging permit modification, both from Wightman & Associates.

Availability of Seats for the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council

The ONMS is seeking applicants for the following seats on the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council (council): Recreation, Business/Economic Development, Tourism (primary seat only), Diving (alternate only), Higher Education, and Citizen-at-Large. Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; philosophy regarding the protection and management of marine resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the sanctuary. Applicants who are chosen as members should expect to serve 3-year terms, pursuant to the council's Charter.

Applications are due by March 4, 2013.

Lake Erie Wind-Turbine Project in High Gear for Next Year

The nonprofit company created to develop wind turbines in Lake Erie has acquired significant engineering muscle for a shot at making the decade-old proposal finally happen.

Using a $4 million federal grant, the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. has partnered with a team of about a dozen national and international expert companies and laboratories -- including several from northern Europe -- to get the job done.

The private partners have committed an additional $1 million in cost share for this portion of the project.

Presque Isle Bay Removed from Areas of Concern

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that Presque Isle Bay, on the Pennsylvania shore of Lake Erie, has been removed from the list of heavily contaminated Great Lakes sites targeted for cleanup by the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Environmental conditions in Presque Isle Bay have significantly improved due to actions taken by federal, state and local government. Studies have shown that revitalized waterways, like Presque Isle Bay, can benefit the local economy and better protect people's health. Presque Isle Bay is now the second site in the nation to be taken off the list of Great Lakes "Areas of Concern" (AOCs).


Funds for Great Lakes Dredging May Get Boost From Michigan Senate

The Michigan Senate is hoping to go beyond the $21.5 million Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed for dredging of Great Lakes harbors and ports and kick in at least another $9 million as the summer tourism season approaches.

With the record low lake levels, shipping vessels and recreational boats are grappling with having to lighten their loads in order to navigate Great Lakes’ harbors.

“Waterways in Michigan are the lifeblood in our state,” said state Sen. Geoff Hansen, R-Hart. “We’d like to start this in the early spring before the tourism season starts.”


Corp of Engineers May Look at Reducing River Flow from Lake Huron after Levels Dip to Lowest Since 1918

Corp may consider putting structures in St. Clair River to boost water levels in Lakes Huron, Michigan
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may take another look at placing structures in the St. Clair River to boost water levels in Lakes Huron and Michigan.

The new record low of 175.57 meters or 576.02 feet is the lowest levels recorded, since record keeping began in 1918.
"Not only have water levels on Michigan-Huron broken records the past two months, but they have been very near record lows for the last several months before then. Lake Michigan-Huron’s water levels have also been below average for the past 14 years, which is the longest period of sustained below average levels since 1918 for that lake," said John Allis the chief of Great Lakes Hydraulics.

2 Great Lakes Hit Lowest Water Level on Record

Two of the Great Lakes have hit their lowest water levels ever recorded, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said, capping more than a decade of below-normal rain and snowfall and higher temperatures that boost evaporation.

Measurements taken last month show Lake Huron and Lake Michigan have reached their lowest ebb since record keeping began in 1918, and the lakes could set additional records over the next few months, the corps said. The lakes were 29 inches below their long-term average and had declined 17 inches since January 2012.