Letters

Letters 07-25-2016

Remember Bush-Cheney Does anyone remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? They were president and vice president a mere eight years ago. Does anyone out there remember the way things were at the end of their duo? It was terrible...

Mass Shootings And Gun Control The largest mass shooting in U.S. history occurred December 29,1890, when 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in South Dakota were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection.” The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms...

Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

Settled Science Climate change science is based on the accumulated evidence gained from studying the greenhouse effect for 200 years. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet 50 degrees warmer due to heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Basic principles of physics and chemistry dictate that Earth will warm as concentrations of greenhouse gases increase...

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · Cross Village Proposal...
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Cross Village Proposal Threatens Rare Great Lakes Coastal Ecosystem

Jacqueline Stubner - March 17th, 2005
While the Bush Administration, Great Lakes governors, Congress, and Tribal Nations are uniting forces to develop a comprehensive plan to protect and restore the Great Lakes, Cross Village Township, located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Northern Emmet County, has proposed a plan to fill sensitive coastal wetlands and dredge public trust bottomlands. The purpose of the plan is to expand the existing boat launching facilities at the Township-owned park that contains beach, boat launch, picnic area, and small gravel parking area that blends in with the natural environment and rural character of the community.
The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring, protecting, and wisely managing water resources, has been following the project since the early 1990s. Although the Watershed Council has a policy of promoting the use and enjoyment of Michigan’s waters, it is essential that boating and recreation facilities are constructed and managed in a way that protects the resources that make Northern Michigan so spectacular.
Ten years after a proposed expansion of the Township Park was denied a permit by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Township has applied for state and federal permits to create a “port” and relocate the boat launch, expand parking, dredge public trust bottomlands, erect a sheet pile bulkhead and pier, fill coastal wetlands, and alter the configuration of the beach.
The environmental impacts of the proposed project will be significant. A total of 0.65 acres of wetlands are proposed to be filled. Great Lakes coastal wetlands are integral to the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem and are one of the primary focal points of restoration efforts. Approximately 16,000 cubic yards of Great Lakes bottomlands will be excavated from a 1.55 acre area. On the western side of the project, a proposed pier extends 288 feet waterward of the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) and is approximately 62 feet wide, with a terminus diameter of 100 feet. The proposed eastern pier extends 150 feet waterward of the OHWM and is approximately 75 feet wide. In total, the two structures will occupy a 0.81 acre footprint on public trust bottomlands.

DIGGING DEEP
To help put these numbers in perspective, the total dredging equals 16,600 cubic yards of material from public trust resources - an amount equal to digging a nine-foot deep hole the size of a football field. The total fill discharge equals 10,395 cubic yards of material dumped on public trust bottomlands - this would cover nearly six football fields in one foot of material.
The project is expected to impact endangered piping plover (Charadrius melodus) habitat. The plovers nest in close proximity to the project area and rely on this stretch of beach with its coastal wetlands for foraging. As designed, the proposal will form a barrier which will be difficult or impossible for not-yet fledged plovers to traverse. Furthermore, direct impacts to state (Lake Huron tansy (Tanacetum huronense)) and federally (Pitcher’s thistle (Cirsium pitcheri)) threatened plant species are proposed. These plants exist only in the Great Lakes Basin, and efforts to relocate them out of the project area (as proposed) may not be effective.
In addition, the potential adverse impacts to fisheries habitat and the natural patterns of sand drift along that part of the Lake Michigan shore have yet to be determined. Maintenance dredging is expected to be a routine activity. This dredging, along with the physical changes due to the fill associated with construction of the piers, will continually alter the beach configuration and sand drift in the area.

THINK AGAIN
The Watershed Council advocates that all alternatives are thoroughly evaluated, and recommends a solution that results in a reliable, flexible boat launch to accommodate extreme high and low water conditions. This solution should avoid dramatic changes to the natural shoreline, reduce dredging of public trust bottomlands, eliminate filling of increasingly rare coastal wetlands, limit on-shore modifications, and retain the current swimming beach configuration.
The Great Lakes comprise one of the most magnificent ecosystems on the planet. It is ironic that the Township is contemplating spending millions in taxpayer dollars to destroy sensitive wetlands and important habitats for threatened and endangered species while our elected officials in Washington are contemplating spending billions of dollars on efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes.
The Corps of Engineers has released a public notice for the proposal, and is currently soliciting comments from citizens until March 27.
Do not miss your opportunity to be a voice for one of our most valuable resources, Lake Michigan. The comments can be mailed to the Corps and must reference file number 90-056-078-2/04-24-45.


 
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