Apr. 6, 2011 -- A $12 million Great Lakes Legacy Act cleanup of contaminated sediment at Muskegon Lake's Division Street Outfall area is set to begin in May 2011.
The initial focus of the Muskegon Lake project involves the dredging and safe disposal of 41,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from the bottom of the lake in an area between Heritage Landing and Hartshorn Marina, near downtown Muskegon. Much of this sediment contains elevated levels of mercury and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, or "PAHs."
The project also includes placement of a 6- to 12-inch sand cover over 120,000 cubic yards of sediment with lower levels of contamination. Workers will also restore shoreline habitat, providing improved ecological conditions for fish and other aquatic life.
The federal government will contribute 65 percent of the cost ($7.8 million) through Great Lakes Legacy Act funding. Michigan will provide 35 percent ($4.2 million) through the Clean Michigan Initiative bond fund.
Muskegon Lake is among 30 Areas of Concern identified by the International Joint Commission on the Great Lakes. In 2005 - 2006, a $10 million cleanup of contaminated sediment was completed at nearby Ruddiman Creek, which flows into Muskegon Lake. As the 30 AOC sites are cleaned up, they become eligible for "de-listing." White Lake, north of Muskegon, is also an Area of Concern.
For more information, please visit http://epa.gov/glla/dso.