USA: Officials OK Money for Menekaunee Harbor Dredging
The long-awaited cleanup and restoration of Menekaunee Harbor just got a big boost with news of a $5 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, officials said.
The City of Marinette and the Department of Natural Resources are partners in the efforts to restore this historic harbor, once home to commercial fishing fleets. Much of the harbor’s shoreline protection consists of dilapidated wooden seawall pilings. Fish and wildlife habitat in the harbor is degraded by invasive plant species, contaminated sediment and excessive sedimentation.
The city has been working with DNR and its hired engineering firm, Ayres Associates, to design and engineer the removal of contaminated sediment, improve navigational and recreational opportunities, and restore fish and wildlife habitat in this historic harbor. Structural improvements will be made to the harbor and its seawalls.
DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp said this project will be a great example of environmental cleanup and habitat work sparking economic growth.
Two separate remediation projects were recently completed. Approximately 260,000 cubic yards of arsenic impacted sediment was mechanically removed, treated and disposed of in 2012 and 2013 by Tyco Fire Products. Another 15,000 cubic yards of oil-saturated sediment was removed, stabilized and disposed of by Wisconsin Public Service Corporation in 2013.
Now, this money will enable partners to dredge the harbor, removing about 75,000 cubic yards of sediment, of which 22,000 cubic yards is contaminated with metals that affect the health and functioning of the aquatic ecosystem. In addition to the EPA funds, DNR is providing state funds from a grant to assist on the development of the design and engineering plans.
The EPA grant comes from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Press Release, April 23, 2014