Archive: May, 2021
  • President’s FY 22 budget includes $595 million for USACE Detroit District

    DETROIT - The President’s Budget for fiscal year 2022 includes $6.793 billion in discretionary funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program, which is the highest annual budget ever proposed for the Army Corps. This includes approximately $595 million set aside for Detroit District projects, including $480 million for the New Lock at the Soo Locks facility in Sault St. Marie, Mich. The Civil Works budget funds the operations and maintenance program, including Great Lakes federal shipping channels and navigation structures within the Detroit District’s area of responsibility across Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. This includes funding for the Soo Locks, in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., which is a critical infrastructure project for the nation. “The Detroit Districts budget reflects a strong commitment to the Great Lakes and our region,” said Detroit District Commander Lt. Col. Scott Katalenich. “We stand ready to deliver the program and continue improving the region's infrastructure. Detroit’s robust mission promotes economic growth, quality of life, environmental health and national security.”
  • Entry period open for Detroit District annual photo contest

    DETROIT- The Detroit District invites photographers to enter its 6th annual photo contest featuring U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sites across the Great Lakes. The top 12 photographs highlighting Detroit District Great Lakes projects such as the Soo Locks, Duluth Ship Canal, piers, breakwaters or federal channels and harbors will earn a spot in the 2022 downloadable calendar. The entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. June 6, with winners determined by social media vote. The Soo Locks Visitors Center Association will award the top three photographers a plaque featuring their photo “The Detroit District team is looking forward to seeing the photographs submitted this year,” said District Commander Lt. Col. Scott Katalenich. “In addition to capturing the Great Lakes region’s beauty, participants always show us fascinating views of projects and waterways the Corps of Engineers build and maintain.”
  • Corps of Engineers to begin St. Joseph emergency dredging in June

    DETROIT – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin St. Joseph Harbor emergency dredging early June, expediting the process to restore critical navigation. The Corps of Engineers identified a shoal restricting the channel depth during this year’s annual channel survey. In some areas the restriction was as little as 13 feet below low water datum, effectively closing the inner harbor to commercial navigation. “This is a true team effort,” said Detroit District Project Manager Alicia Smith. “We worked with Congressman Fred Upton’s office, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the City of St. Joseph and local sponsors to award this contract in an expedited manner to restore critical navigation.”
  • Army Corps of Engineers promotes boat, water safety this summer

    DETROIT- With warm weather approaching, many will spend summer in or around the water. As Great Lakes stewards, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reminds visitors and residents the importance of practicing safe, sensible and thoughtful activities. Great Lakes water levels are below last year’s record levels but will continue rising before peaking in the summer months. High water levels can increase dangers such as rip currents and waves, especially during periods of active weather. The Corps of Engineers urges caution around Great Lakes piers and breakwaters, particularly during times of high winds and waves. People of all ages should always practice boat and water safety. Before entering or being around the water, keep these items listed below in mind, they could save your life or the life of someone you care about.
  • Great Lakes water levels continue seasonal rise

    DETROIT- Great Lakes water levels are below last year’s record levels but will continue rising before peaking in the summer months. During the spring, water levels typically begin a seasonal rise due to increased precipitation and runoff. Drier conditions so far this spring limited seasonal rises on some lakes, however, there are still a few months left in the typical seasonal rise period. “Dry conditions have continued for most of the Great Lakes region, with the exception of the Lake Superior basin, which experienced above average precipitation in April,” said Detroit District Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office Chief John Allis. “These drier conditions have resulted in lake levels that are much lower than the record highs of recent years. However, some lakes are still above average and coastal flooding and erosion are still possible, especially during periods of active weather and increased wave action.”
  • Soo Locks Visitor Center reopens

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., – The Detroit District’s Soo Area Office is reopening the Soo Locks Visitor Center in Canal Park 9:00 a.m. May 9. The Detroit District is working diligently to safely open the Visitor Center while following federal and state COVID-19 guidelines. Exhibits are spaced to help visitors observe social distancing while learning more about the Soo Locks and hand sanitizer is available near popular hands-on exhibits. Building occupancy is currently limited to 90 people at a time and masks are required to enter. “We are glad to be able to open the Visitor Center again. Over the past year, we added some exciting new exhibits for visitors to enjoy,” Chief Park Ranger Michelle Briggs said. New exhibits include a Soo Locks virtual tour and a simulator allowing visitors to take the controls of a reproduction 1943 panel of the MacArthur Lock and complete a lockage.
  • 2021 Engineer’s Day being Re-Engineered

    SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and City of Sault Ste. Marie are re-engineering the Soo Locks 2021 Engineer’s Day to protect vessel crew members and essential lock workers while complying with current federal and state COVID-19 guidelines. The City will host an event focusing on downtown city merchants, vendors, the Soo Locks and water safety. The City and the Sault Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) welcome the public and visitors to attend Engineer’s Day Re-Engineered 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, June 25. “The Soo Locks are so important to our history and our community, this annual event helps us celebrate that,” said Linda Hoath, director of the Sault Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It is a great time to expand the event beyond the Soo Locks complex.”