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USACE begins Manistee Harbor Channel dredging

Manistee Harbor in Manistee, Michigan is seen in this 2016 file image. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District is set to begin dredging the federal channel June 27 to ensure safe navigation.

Posted on July 1, 2024

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, will begin dredging the Manistee Harbor federal navigational channel June 27 to remove shoaling preventing deep-drafting commercial traffic.

On April 23, a commercial vessel attempted to enter Manistee Harbor drafting 19 feet but were halted due to conditions. Surveys found the harbor was unable to be passed at that draft. USACE issued a notice to vessel traffic the same day and continues to coordinate closely with the U.S. Coast Guard to maintain safe passage in the area.

USACE was previously scheduled to maintenance dredge the harbor later in the summer, but quick coordination between staff and the contractor enabled the project to be prioritized with a June start date. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources limits certain activities – including dredging – until after June 15 to protect fish spawning and habitat, as part of a policy popularly known as a “fish window.”

About 33,000 cubic years of sediment will be removed from the harbor under a $581,000 contract with King Company of Holland. Funding for the project will come from the Fiscal Year 2022 President’s Budget (PBUD).

Dredged material will be placed along the shoreline 3,000 feet south of the southern breakwater and extend for about 2,000 feet. Some placement will occur at a 4-foot depth nearshore where the dredged material cannot be placed on the shore without disrupting the natural aesthetics of the beach or prevents public users and boats from safely traversing the area.

The project is scheduled to conclude on or before July 31.

King Company previously dredged Manistee Harbor in 2022 under a similar contract.

Manistee Harbor is a federal harbor and channel project under the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1960. Section 107 of the act gives the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the authority to improve navigation including dredging of channels, as well as other improvements to facilitate federal and commercial traffic. The mouth of the river is Congressionally authorized to be maintained to 25-foot deep and 570 feet wide. The Detroit District maintains navigation throughout the Manistee River federal channel between Lake Michigan and Manistee Lake. The area is about two miles long.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, maintains a navigation system of 81 harbors and channels joining lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and Erie.

To learn more about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District visit: 


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