US Army Corps of Engineers
Detroit District Website

The 2021 Navigation Season officially started at noon, March 24 with the opening of the Poe Lock in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The tug Laura L. Vanenkevort / barge Joseph H. Thompson was the first ship through the Soo Locks this season.
We are pleased to announce that the Soo Locks Webcams are back up and running - and just in time for the 2021 navigation season! Horray!
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., – The Detroit District’s Soo Area Office will open the Poe Lock noon, March 24, marking the 2021 Great Lakes shipping season start. The shipping industry requested an early season opening to ensure safety of the vessels. “We believe a 1200 EST opening on 24 March 2021 provides a safer timeframe for vessels to transit Whitefish Bay and the St. Mary’s River. It facilitates U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) icebreaking prior to and after the initial lock transits,” James Weakley, President of the Lake Carriers’ Association said. “The efficiency of icebreaking for the first transits is the primary driver for this request.”
DETROIT- Great Lake water levels in 2021 are tracking below last year’s levels, though Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and Erie remain well above long-term average levels, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials who track and forecast Great Lakes water levels. Lake Ontario recently fell slightly below long-term average levels. The February 2021 monthly mean water levels ranged from 7 to 23 inches below levels from this time last year.
February was very cold throughout the Great Lakes region, which led to increased evaporation and caused an ice jam to develop on the St. Clair River. This was also the fourth consecutive month the Great Lakes basin experienced below average precipitation. As a result of the dry and cold conditions in the region, all the lakes declined from January to February. To find out what to expect as the lakes enter their period of seasonal rise, check out the latest 6-month forecast of Great Lakes water levels at the link below.
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (March 5, 2021) - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) officials will use dry blasting during New Lock at the Soo construction to avoid or drastically minimize impacts to fish larvae and adult fish spawning near the Soo Locks. The Soo Locks on the St. Marys River allow vessels to navigate the 21 ft elevation change between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes. A new Poe-sized lock being built will provide necessary redundancy in the Great Lakes Navigation System’s critical infrastructure.
DETROIT -- Soo Locks visitors will see more than $100,000 in improved lock model displays in the coming years thanks to local partner support and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Handshake Partnership Program. Currently, the park features two original 3-D models dating back to 1893 and 1912, showing locks built on the facility over 100 years ago. The models sit in concrete and glass cases with cracked panes and openings in the bases allowing air, moisture and insects to get inside.
DETROIT- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urges caution around Great Lake piers, breakwaters and jetties, particularly during times of high wind and wave events.

Regulatory Public Notices

LRE-2021-00240-49-S21

4/1/2021
Proposed Installation of a Bottom-diffused Aeration System in Bear Lake at Muskegon, Michigan

LRE-1981-31011-S21

3/30/2021
Proposed Expansion of Existing Marina in Indian River at Indian River, Michigan

LRE-2018-01035-7-S20

3/24/2021
Proposed Aquatic Habitat & Barrier Island Creation in Detroit River at Sugar Island Wildlife Refuge, Michigan

Other Public Notices

Integrated Project Office on the Soo Locks Historic Property Section 106 Alternative Analysis and Draft Memorandum of Agreement

12/16/2020
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Detroit District, is proposing a Memorandum of Agreement

SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND SUPPLEMENTAL SECTION 404(b)(1) EVALUATION New Power Plant Replacement Bridge And Unit 10 Feeder Cable Relocation

12/10/2020
SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND SUPPLEMENTAL SECTION 404(b)(1) EVALUATIONNew Power Plant

Pier Rehabiliation at the Duluth Vessel Yard-Section 106 Adverse Effect and Draft MOA

11/2/2020
  TO: All INTERESTED AGENCIES, PUBLIC GROUPS, AND CITIZENS The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Latest News Releases

Soo Locks open early for 2021 shipping season
3/19/2021 UPDATED
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., – The Detroit District’s Soo Area Office will open the Poe Lock noon, March 24, marking the 2021 Great Lakes shipping season start.The shipping industry requested an early...
Great Lakes water levels lower than 2020 heading into spring rise
3/11/2021
DETROIT- Great Lake water levels in 2021 are tracking below last year’s levels, though Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and Erie remain well above long-term average levels, according to U.S...
Corps of Engineers assisting US, Canada coast guards easing St Clair River flooding
2/4/2021
Using strategically placed water monitoring equipment and a field team, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is providing technical advice for St. Clair River U.S. and Canadian coast guard ice breaking...

News Stories

Corps lowers impact to fish spawning near Soo Locks
3/5/2021
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (March 5, 2021) - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) officials will use dry blasting during New Lock at the Soo construction to avoid or drastically minimize impacts to fish...
Employee Spotlight: Vicky Person
5/21/2020
Vicky Person joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, team three years ago and has over 35 years of experience in the field of geotechnical, environmental and construction quality...
High Water Impacts on Coastal Erosion
5/19/2020
Record high lake levels in 2019 on Lake Michigan have increased the height of the wave impact and accelerated the erosion. Holland, Michigan reported a loss of 50 feet of beach since last summer. Many...

Photos

The lockcrew observing the tugboat Fredrick, which is surrounded by ice during the winter of 2014, in which 92 percent of the Great Lakes froze over.
Floating plant in the Poe Lock
Signals
Tall Ship at the Soo Locks
Job shadowing
Trimming intake pipe
Rigging
Maintenance at Indiana Harbor
September morning
Late night viewing
Detroit District Relay Team
Boating and Water Safety
Ultimate Frisbee
Tall Ship passing through the Soo Locks
Ship watching in Duluth
Inland Route Cheboygan
Saltie arrives in Duluth
Lower Lock Gates
East Approach
Ship arriving in Duluth
The Livingstone Channel
Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center
Cleaning the locks
How do the locks work?
Exhibits at the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center
Winter maintenance on the MacArthur Lock

Videos