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  • 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.
  • 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.”
  • Corps of Engineers video explains monthly water level bulletin

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases its second ‘On the Level,’ Great Lakes water level and forecast video today. Great Lakes Watershed Hydrology Chief Keith Kompoltowicz talks through interpreting the Detroit District’s most popular product, the Great Lakes water levels monthly bulletin. Property owners, boaters, industries and many others use the bulletin as a source for water level information. “Each lake’s water level is portrayed in a hydrograph, or a plot of water surface elevation over time,” according to Kompoltowicz. “The District is happy to offer this edition of ‘On the Level’ to help anyone better understand the information the Corps of Engineers regularly provides.”
  • Corps of Engineers repairing its southern Vessel Yard Pier

    DULUTH, Minn., – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin to repair its southern Vessel Yard Pier beginning the week of Aug. 23, 2021. Repairs will last through Oct. 31, 2021 and resume in the Spring of 2022. The repairs should be complete no later than Sept. 9, 2022, taking place weekdays 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. “Area home and business owners can expect some noise during demolition and construction, including construction vehicle traffic,” said Project Engineer Monica Anderson.
  • Corps of Engineers debuts video series

    DETROIT- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases a new Great Lakes water level video series today. ‘On the Level’ will provide monthly information and updates about the Great Lakes’ water levels and forecasts from Detroit District Hydraulics and Hydrology experts. “Our team is always looking for new ways to share information about the Great Lakes water levels and we are really looking forward to adding the ‘On the Level’ video series to our repertoire,” said district Great Lakes Watershed Hydrology Chief Keith Kompoltowicz. “We plan to share a wide variety of material and we hope folks will look forward to them every month.”
  • Great Lakes water levels below recent years record high levels

    DETROIT- Even with a return to wetter conditions in late June and July, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers officials expect Great Lakes water levels to remain below 2019 and 2020 levels - when many record highs were set across the lakes. Late spring and summer are typically when the lakes reach seasonal peaks before beginning seasonal declines in the late summer or early fall. This year, seasonal rises leading up to peak levels were less than average on all the lakes. This is especially true for Lake Michigan-Huron, which experienced its peak monthly mean level for the year in January. This has only occurred three other times (1931, 1958 and 1987) in the coordinated water level period of record (1918-2020).