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Dredging debris cleaned up on Buttersville Beach

Posted on March 13, 2024

Last week, Jenna Tews, who lives at Buttersville Beach, was walking her dog when she observed multiple piles of black plastic protruding from under the sand.

Tews recognized the debris as left-over materials from a dredging operation. Family was in that line of work, she said.

“I thought it could be dredging fuse,” Tews told the Ludington Daily News last week.

This is something that is used to bind two sections of dredging pipe together.

Tews said she called several local government offices only to be told that she needed to talk to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This is the agency that contracts for dredging operations.

Prompted by an inquiry from the Daily News, USACOE, Brandon Hubbard, Public Affairs Specialist, began to research the complaint filed by Tews.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District staff determined debris south of the Ludington breakwater to Buttersville Park was likely related to dredging operations in December,” Hubbard said in an emailed statement Monday, March 11. “The contractor returned to the beach Friday and cleaned up the area.”

As previously reported in the Ludington Daily News, from August 2023 to January, the Army Corps of Engineers and contractor MCM Marine, of Sault Ste. Marie, had been clearing sediment in Ludington Harbor, along the Lake Michigan shoreline as part of a dredging operation.

During that time period, thousands of feet of pipe moved sediment from the upstream limit of the dredging, which is near the Badger’s dock all the way south across Pere Marquette Lake to the placement area near Buttersville Campground, Hubbard said in January.

Hubbard said the contractor put in their own hydraulic dredging pipes as a temporary replacement. Using pipes eliminated the cost of transporting sediment with barges. They transport dredged sediment and water from the harbor shoals out to the shore.

“We appreciate the community notifying us about the debris following the winter season,” Hubbard said Monday morning and referring to Tews’ observation.


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