Federal dredging money heads to U.P.

MARQUETTE – U.S. Sens. Carl Levin, D-Detroit and Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, announced Wednesday the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will distribute $25 million for Great Lakes navigation projects, including three projects in the Upper Peninsula.

The U.P. projects being funded include access bridge and duct bank work related to a hydropower plant on the St. Marys River, Soo asset renewal and dredging in the Menominee Harbor in Menominee County.

Levin and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ohio – co-chairman of the Great Lakes Task Force – wrote a bipartisan letter to the Corps of Engineers last month, urging the corps to allocate additional funding from $200 million in national funding approved in an omnibus bill in January.

“The failure to provide adequate funds for harbor dredging has created a crisis in which many Great Lakes harbors are becoming so choked with silt that they are increasingly unusable,” Levin said. “This funding will provide assistance to harbors across the Great Lakes region, including several of the most severely impacted harbors in Michigan.”

Stabenow said making sure that our harbors and waterways are properly dredged and maintained is absolutely critical to supporting Michigan’s shipping, boating and tourism industries.

“This is much-needed funding that will go a long way to supporting our economy and thousands of jobs across our state,” Stabenow said.