• Corps of Engineers receiving $561 million from infrastructure bill for Michigan, Great Lakes

    DETROIT - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Detroit District is receiving $561 million in fiscal year 2022 of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (DRSAA) funds for work in Michigan and on the Great Lakes. IIJA operations and maintenance funds are allocated one year at a time. More funding across the Great Lakes is likely for fiscal years 23 and 24, but the determination will come at a later time. “The IIJA funding is for major Civil Works mission areas, including navigation, aquatic ecosystem restoration and flood damage reduction,” said Detroit District Deputy District Engineer Kevin McDaniels. “The majority of money the Detroit District is receiving will fund construction of the New Lock at the Soo project.”
  • Soo Locks closing for seasonal repair, maintenance

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., - The Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan will close to marine traffic beginning 11:59 p.m. January 15 through 12:01 a.m. March 25 to perform critical maintenance. The operating season is fixed by federal regulation and is driven in part by the feasibility of vessels operating in typical Great Lakes ice conditions. “It is a difficult time in terms of weather to complete this work, but it keeps this important national infrastructure project operating during shipping season,” Soo Area Engineer Kevin Sprague said.
  • Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center transitions to winter schedule

    DULUTH, Minn., – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is transitioning the operating hours of the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center in Canal Park to its winter schedule after the holidays. The Detroit District’s Duluth Area Office Visitor Center winter schedule will begin the week of Jan. 16, 2022 and will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Visitor Center will be open at the following dates and times during the holidays: • Dec. 20, 23, 27 and 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. • Jan. 3, 6-10 and 14-16 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • USACE researchers collaborate with Native American tribes to improve wildrice productivity

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) researchers are working with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and other Native American tribes to help improve wildrice (Zizania palustris) productivity. The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) work is supporting two six-year USACE Detroit District Planning Assistance to States studies. Wildrice, or “manoomin” in the Anishinaabe or Ojibwe language, is found in fringe and riparian wetlands along lakes and rivers in the Great Lakes region. It is culturally significant and an important food source for Great Lake region Native American tribes. Wildrice is also a vital part of traditional religious ceremonies for these tribes. The Native American tribes harvest wildrice using traditional methods. Called “knocking the rice,” harvesters gently guide a canoe through the rice while using “knockers” to carefully knock or brush ripe rice into the canoe, taking great care not to damage the plants. This centuries-old method helps sustain wildrice stands.
  • MacArthur Lock closing for seasonal repair, maintenance

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., - The Soo Locks’ MacArthur Lock will close to marine traffic 7:00 a.m. Dec. 15, 2021 through 12:01 a.m. April 30, 2022 to perform critical maintenance. The Poe Lock will remain open until 11:59 p.m. Jan. 15, 2022 or until commercial traffic ceases, whichever occurs first. The operating season is fixed by federal regulation and is driven in part by vessel operation ability in typical ice conditions. “The 800-foot-long MacArthur Lock, built in 1943, is 78 years old; the maintenance period is critical to keeping the lock in operation during the shipping season,” Maintenance Branch Chief LeighAnn Ryckeghem said.
  • Measuring Great Lakes flows helps forecast water levels

    DETROIT- Monitoring the amount of water moving through the Great Lakes system is important to help forecast Great Lakes water levels and support international monitoring efforts. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials physically measure discharge, or flow, in the connecting channels using acoustic technology. Monthly flow in the connecting channels is the largest contributing factor to the level of each Great Lake and is a critical piece in forecasting Great Lakes water levels. Detroit District Hydraulic Engineer, Matt McClerren demonstrates flow measurement on the Detroit River and how the Corps of Engineers estimates monthly flows the fifth ‘On the Level’ video, available on the district’s website at https://go.usa.gov/xFEWx.
  • Corps of Engineers and City of Duluth provide information on 2021 Minnesota Point beach nourishment and Section 111

    DULUTH, Minn., – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers along with the City of Duluth provide information on the completion of 2021 Minnesota Point beach nourishment, maintenance dredging, beach cleanup and the congressionally funded Continuing Authorities Program (CAP) Section 111 study. The Corps of Engineers awarded the 2021 maintenance dredging contract July 14, 2021 to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, based Roen Salvage Company. The Sturgeon Bay company dredged approximately 53,000 cubic yards (cy) of material from the Duluth-Superior Harbor navigation channel. This material nourished the beach on Minnesota Point. The Corps of Engineers originally planned to dredge and place nearly 100,000 cy. However, they reduced the amount of material due to stringent protocols and significant safeguards put in place to ensure the material was free from man-made debris. Stringent protocols included reducing the size of the transfer screen used to catch debris, adding contract conditions to monitor and stop production if debris is observed and increasing Corps of Engineers’ oversight of contactor operations.
  • Corps of Engineers share fall and winter water level outlook

    DETROIT- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials forecast Great Lakes water levels to continue seasonal water level decline in the coming months. Detroit District Watershed Hydrology Section Chief Keith Kompoltowicz and Watershed Hydrology Section Physical Scientist and lead water level forecaster Dee Apps discuss this fall and winter’s water levels outlook in the fourth ‘On the Level’ video, available on the district’s website at https://go.usa.gov/xFEWx. The outlook is based on the latest six-month water level forecast. “During the fall and early winter, water levels typically decline as a result of increased evaporation,” according to Kompoltowicz. “Evaporation is highest during this time of year as a result of the colder air that enters the region and moves over the relatively warm lake water surfaces.”
  • Corps of Engineers video explains Lake Superior regulation

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases the third ‘On the Level,’ Great Lakes water level and forecast video. From the head of the St. Marys River in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, Hydraulic Engineer Missy Kropfreiter discusses the International Joint Commission and Lake Superior regulation. “The goal of regulation is to maintain a balance of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron with respect to long-term average water levels based on average conditions,” according to Kropfreiter. “Although Lake Superior’s outflow is regulated, lake level control cannot be achieved through regulation. Lake levels are driven by the net basin supply such as precipitation, runoff and evaporation.”
  • Detroit District invites all to Virtual Visitor Center series

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District Park Rangers are continuing their popular Virtual Visitor Center series with monthly programs planned through April 2022. “We created the Virtual Visitor Center in May 2020 when our facilities closed due to COVID-19 so we could continue our mission to inform, educate and hopefully entertain the public,” said Chief Park Ranger at the Soo Locks, Michelle Briggs. “These programs helped us reach people who may not be able to visit our sites in person and proved so popular that we have continued offering them.”