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Huizenga Helps Secure Much Needed Dredging Funds for Saugatuck, Douglas

Posted on March 6, 2023

Today, Congressman Bill Huizenga (MI-04) announced his office helped secure $895,000 in critical funding from the Army Corps of Engineers to ensure Saugatuck will be properly dredged for the upcoming summer season. The Army Corps of Engineers publicly released their updated FY2023 operations and maintenance work plan yesterday.

“Harbors and rivers serve as major sources of economic activity for the communities along the Lakeshore,” said Congressman Bill Huizenga. “I am happy to share that the communities of Saugatuck and Douglas will have the resources needed to dredge the harbor and portions of the Kalamazoo River. This will help the summer tourism season reach its full potential while also strengthening the local small business economy for residents and visitors to enjoy! I want to thank the Corps for continuing their productive relationship to ensure priorities along the Great Lakes are met.”

“The Saugatuck harbor area is one of the premier boating areas in the Great Lakes and we’re grateful for the quick action taken by Congressman Huizenga’s office with the Army Corps of Engineers,” said Saugatuck City Manager Ryan Heise. “Today’s news also demonstrates the strong and growing cooperation within the tri-community area of Saugatuck, Saugatuck Township, and Douglas, along with our partners in Allegan County. By working together we will continue to preserve our waters and protect this important economic driver of our communities.”

“Losing direct access to Lake Michigan would have been devastating for the Saugatuck/Douglas seasonal economy.  When our office was made aware that unusually heavy soil deposits in the River Mouth posed a serious safety hazard for boats traveling through the Channel, we immediately sounded the alarm bells.  Through the cooperative efforts our local communities and fast response from our federal representatives, Summer 2023 will be saved here in Saugatuck/Douglas,” said Daniel DeFranco, Saugatuck Township Manager.

Congressman Huizenga has been a bipartisan leader in holding the federal government accountable to lakeshore communities for its promises regarding harbor dredging. Huizenga has also been a leader in the bipartisan effort to fully restore the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. In 2020, Huizenga helped increase the percentage of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund dollars that go to the Great Lakes. The funding for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is paid by shippers utilizing ports on the Great Lakes and across our nation’s coasts.


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