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U.S. Army Corps Talks Dredging Operations

Posted on August 22, 2022

Dredging is underway this week in the St. Joseph harbor and will move on to South Haven next week. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil engineer Christopher Schropp tells us King Company of Holland has been hired to handle the dredging. He notes the Army Corps regularly dredges commercial harbors, like in St. Joe, but when it comes to recreational harbors, the federal government has to approve special funds. What if the recreational harbors weren’t dredged?

“From a recreation standpoint, it would have an effect,” Schropp said. “Essentially, it would close a lot of these shallow depth harbors…In a lot of cases, like the city of New Buffalo and some other harbors, they’re forced to find ways to fund it on their own when they don’t receive the federal funds for it.”

The harbor in South Haven is recreational only.

“It’s a harbor of refuge. At one point, it may have had some commercial industry, but now it’s all recreational use.”

Schropp says sand will be pulled from the harbor in South Haven next week to replenish South Beach. In St. Joseph, they’re pumping the sand near Park Street. The Army Corps has been replenishing beaches along Lake Michigan this year to make up for erosion caused by high water levels the last two years. In both St. Joseph and South Haven, the dredging operation takes about three days.


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