Last month, the Michigan State Waterways Commission announced an emergency dredging plan for the Great Lakes. On Wednesday, March 13th, the Michigan State House Appropriations Committee approved nearly $21 million to fund this project. Several harbors and marinas will receive some financial help under this plan to maintain safe water depths for boating. To read through the list of 49 harbors and marinas included in the plan and the estimated costs click here.
Lake Michigan and Lake Huron have already reached record low water levels in the past few months and water levels continue to decline in all five Great Lakes.
The declining water levels are drastically changing the ecosystems throughout the Great Lakes. As warmer months approach and sunlight is able to reach new depths, aquatic plant growth, including invasive plant species, will be on an upswing.
People living and working on the shorelines are also faced with problems created by low water levels. The obvious issue is boat mobility and docking. In some harbor areas, new docks must be constructed to account for the new, lower water levels. These new constructions are costing local businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars.