MI - $3.1M Effort Will Remove Muskegon Lake ‘Junk,’ Restore Shoreline
MUSKEGON, MI – Efforts to clean up Muskegon Lake that once was essentially used as a dump continues this summer with a $3.1 million initiative to remove “chunks of junk” from the lake bottom.
The project also will involve wetlands and shoreline restoration and relocation of a recreational path away from the restored shore, said Kathy Evans, environmental program manager for the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC).
The efforts are part of a years-long strategy to undo years of environmental abuse of the lake that is an inlet of Lake Michigan.
The abuse began during the lumber era, when sawmill debris was tossed into the lake waters, and continued through the years with the use of foundry sand and concrete fill to create a dock and unnatural shoreline.
The project implemented by WMSRDC began in mid-August near the site of a former Amoco tank farm where Ruddiman Creek enters the lake in the city of Muskegon’s Lakeside neighborhood. The funding is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Among the project’s highlights are:
-- Restoration of 10.3 acres of wetlands
-- Restoration of 325 linear feet of shoreline
-- Removal of 4,250 tons of unnatural fill
-- Removal of a 1,446-foot-long, 5-foot-tall concrete wall
-- Rerouting of the Lakeshore Trail away from the shoreline
A bright orange floating boom marks the boundaries of the lake debris collection zone. Great Lakes Material and Docks has been contracted to do the work, which has involved the use of sonar to locate large debris that will be hauled out with the use of a floating barge, Evans said.