The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Alaska District has prepared a draft disposition study and environmental assessment for the St. Michael Canal historical project.
The study’s focus is to evaluate the existing St. Michael Canal project located in Norton Sound, Alaska, and to verify if a federal interest continues to exist for the authorized purpose of commercial navigation.
The project provided a safe passage for riverboats travelling from the port at St. Michael into the Interior by way of the Yukon River’s mouth.
Dredging a channel 100 feet-wide to a depth of six feet from St. Michael Bay through the canal for more than six miles as well as widening the channel at two sharp bends enabled vessels to reach the mouth with less exposure to open ocean conditions. The project was completed in 1910.
Transport modernization mostly eliminated the need to navigate up the mouth of the Yukon to supply communities in the Interior, and activity at the St. Michael port was eventually diminished.
Disposition studies are conducted using only federal funds and there is no non-federal sponsor. If deauthorization is recommended, then Congressional action is required.
The report will be available for 30 days until January 7. It may be viewed on the Alaska District’s website.