Howard’s Bay dredging moves forward

Utilizing Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding under the EPA’s Great Lakes Legacy Act Authority, USACE continues remediation of contaminated sediment from Howard’s Bay in the Duluth-Superior Harbor at Superior, Wisconsin.


“Construction started this fall and, once complete next calendar year, we will dredge approximately 132,000 cubic yards of material, 52,000 cy of non-contaminated navigation dredging and 80,000 cy of contaminated sediment,” USACE said in their latest announcement.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be just over $13.5 million.

USACE photo

This site has been the location of multiple shipyards, commercial shipping activity, and other industry since the early 1800s and continues to be an important workhorse for the City of Superior.

Maritime needs in the bay are met by a federal navigation channel and private slips used for loading and unloading ships.

Ownership of adjacent lands around Howards Bay is a mix of industrial and city-owned property. 

Elevated levels of heavy metals including mercury, lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been detected through a series of sampling programs conducted by EPA and WDNR beginning in 1993 and extending through 2013. They are the primary constituents of concern (COCs) for this Great Lakes Legacy Act project. 

Concentrations of the COCs vary within Howard’s Bay due to its history of dredging and other activities and have been documented by the historical studies.