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  • Corps of Engineers share May-Oct. water level outlook

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydraulics and Hydrology officials forecast Great Lakes water levels to continue seasonal rise. From the shores of Lake Superior, Detroit District Watershed Hydrology Section Chief Keith Kompoltowicz discusses the latest six-month water level forecast in the seventh ‘On the Level’ video, available on the district’s YouTube page at https://youtu.be/imwYDUBbMd0. “Lake Superior’s water level in April was about an inch below its long-term average,” according to Kompoltowicz. “Looking at the forecast for the next 6 months, Superior’s level should remain near average. In looking at the rest of the Great Lakes system, Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are above their respective long term average levels, but well below the record high levels recently experienced.”
  • New Lock at the Soo to host hybrid public meeting for Hydro Plant tail race closing

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich.- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District will host a hybrid public meeting 7 p.m., April 20, 2022, to talk about the need for closing the Soo Locks Hydro Plant tail race. The Detroit District needs to close the Hydro Plant tail race for upcoming New Lock at the Soo construction and permanently close a portion of the tail race for safety reasons. The Corps of Engineers wants to hear from anglers and concerned stakeholders before making any official decisions. The tail race is and has been a very popular community fishing spot. The Corps of Engineers goal during New Lock at the Soo construction is to have minimal effects to the community. Participants can attend in-person or virtually.
  • President’s Budget supplies $117.2 million for Corps of Engineers Detroit District Operation, Maintenance

    DETROIT- The President’s Budget for fiscal year 2023 includes more than $6.6 billion in discretionary funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program, with just over $117.2 million set aside for Detroit District projects. Of great regional significance is an additional $600,000 for the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study, a project that includes the three Great Lakes districts: Detroit, Buffalo and Chicago. The goal is to create a plan identifying vulnerable coastal areas and recommending actions to bolster the coastal resources’ ability to withstand, recover from and adapt to future hydrologic uncertainty with respect to built and natural coastal environments. Recent high-water events across the Great Lakes brought about the study’s need.
  • Soo Locks to open March 25 for 2022 shipping season

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, Soo Area Office will open the Poe Lock, 12:01 a.m., March 25, marking the 2022 Great Lakes shipping season start. The operating season is fixed by federal regulation and driven in part by the feasibility of vessels operating in typical Great Lakes ice conditions. The Poe Lock officially closed January 16 to undergo critical repairs and maintenance during the 10 week-long winter shutdown. Maintenance crews performed a variety of critical tasks on the Poe Lock, including hydraulic steel structure inspections, miter gate bottom girder structural repair and seal replacement, miter gate pintle concrete repairs, valve machinery repairs, and dewatering system maintenance.
  • Corps of Engineers selects Enbridge Line 5 tunnel project EIS contractor

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, expects the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process for Enbridge Line 5’s tunnel permit application to begin soon following its selection of a contractor to prepare the EIS. The Detroit District, responsible for the tunnel project permit request review, selected Maryland-based Potomac-Hudson Engineering, Inc. as the third-party contractor to prepare the EIS for Enbridge’s proposed Line 5 Tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac. An EIS is a thorough and comprehensive National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document the Detroit District will use in making a permit decision.
  • Scenarios product provides insight to potential future water levels

    DETROIT- Using historical data similar to recent conditions, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Future Scenarios product illustrates Great Lakes’ water level variabilities. “The tool allows us to investigate the different meteorological or hydrological conditions impacting the Great Lakes basin and how it affects water levels,” said Detroit District Watershed Hydrology Section Physical Scientist Deanna Apps. “You may find this product helpful to better understand the variability in water levels that could occur under certain scenarios.” Apps, who is also a lead water level forecaster explains the scenario-based tool that is publicly available on the Corps of Engineers’ website in the sixth ‘On the Level’ video, available on the Detroit District’s YouTube page at: https://youtu.be/Jyl8RkNBIy0.
  • 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.