State of the Beach/State Reports/MI/Beach Fill

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Michigan Ratings
Indicator Type Information Status
Beach Access77
Water Quality66
Beach Erosion7-
Erosion Response-6
Beach Fill4-
Shoreline Structures4 3
Beach Ecology3-
Surfing Areas26
Website6-


Policies

State, Territory, and Commonwealth Beach Nourishment Programs, A National Overview (NOAA, March 2000) provides the following information:

"The state does not have a policy regarding beach nourishment.

Related Policies

Near Shore Sand Mining Regulations

1994 Mich. Pub. Acts 324.637. Natural Resources & Environmental Protection Act, Sand Dune Mining. This statute covers the permitting of sand dune mining.

Dredge and Fill Regulations

1994 Mich. Pub. Acts 324.303. Natural Resources & Environmental Protection Act, Wetlands Protection. This statute covers the permitting of dredge and fill activities in wetlands.

Mich. Admin. Code r. 281.23. Environmental Areas. This regulates dredging, filling, grading, or other alterations of soil in environmental areas.

Mich. Admin. Code r. 322.1008. Submerged Lands Rules - Permits. This regulates dredging filling, or placing spoil or other materials on bottomlands.

Sand Scraping/Dune Reshaping Regulations

1994 Mich. Pub. Acts 324.353. Natural Resources & Environmental Protection Act, Sand Dunes Protection and Management. This statute gives local units of government the opportunity to protect and manage critical dune areas. An application for a permit must be filed with the local government for activities within a critical dune area.

Dune Creation/ Restoration Regulations

1994 Mich. Pub. Acts 324.353. Natural Resources & Environmental Protection Act, Sand Dunes Protection and Management. This statute gives local units of government the opportunity to protect and manage critical dune areas. An application for a permit must be filed with the local government for activities within a critical dune area.

Beach Nourishment Funding Program

There is no state funding for beach nourishment."

Permits are required for dredging lake or river bottoms pursuant to Part 325, Great Lakes Submerged Lands or Part 301, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended. If the Land and Water Management Division (LWMD) is able to permit a dredging project, dredge material characterization is required by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Sediment testing results need to be submitted with a permit application to be evaluated as part of the proposed project.

Michigan's Submerged Lands Program is responsible for regulating construction activities along 3,188 miles of Great Lakes shoreline and over 38,000 square miles of Great Lakes bottomlands, including coastal marshes. The program regulates the recovery and use of submerged cultural resources (shipwrecks and associated artifacts) located in the Great Lakes and administers the underwater preserve program. The state of Michigan is trustee of the bottomlands and waters of the Great Lakes and has a perpetual duty to manage these resources for the benefit of its citizens.

In addition to having the Great Lakes bottomlands conveyance and permit application review coordinated by the Submerged Lands Program staff, other programs in the Lakes, Streams and Shorelands Management Section work directly with the submerged lands staff. Shorelands Management Program staff is responsible for high risk erosion and environmental areas under Part 323, Shorelands Protection and Management, and Part 353, Sand Dune Protection and Management of the NREPA. Shorelands Management Program staff assist in the review of applications involving construction activities on the Great Lakes bottomlands. Staff of these programs consult on a daily basis with the Submerged Lands Program staff regarding the impact of riprap, seawalls, groins, jetties, docks, breakwaters, etc., on nearshore coastal processes and coastal marshes.

Additional information on the Submerged Lands Program.

Inventory

Detailed information on beach fill projects in Michigan is somewhat limited.

The report Summary of Beach Nourishment Activity Along the Great Lakes' Shoreline 1955-1996 lists beach nourishment projects along the shoreline of each of the four Great Lakes that Michigan touches. For Lake Erie there were two projects at Bolles Harbor in 1987 and 1998. For Lake Huron there were 26 projects between 1973 and 1996. These projects were at Hammond Bay, Au Sable, Harrisville, Tawas Bay, Caseveille Harbor, Port Sanilac, and Lexington. There were 234 projects along the Lake Michigan shoreline between 1971 and 1996. The report lists beach location, date, funding type, volume, length, and cost for each project. For Lake Superior there were 46 projects between 1980 and 1996. These projects were at Black River, Ontonagon, Lac LaBelle Harbor, Grand Traverse, Big Bay, Presque Isle, and Little Lake.

The following is a list of specific beach fill projects in Michigan for 1999. The Army Corps of Engineers conducted all the projects.

Lake Michigan

Army Corps of Engineers conducting dredging and beach fill in Arcadia, MI
  • Arcadia: 4,300 cubic yards of sand removed from channel and placed on beach North of the North pier.
  • Grand Haven: 42,400 cubic yards of material removed and placed at 4-ft. depth contour, north of the North piers.
  • Grand Traverse Bay: 12,000 cubic yards of material removed and placed south of the South pier.
  • Holland: 18,000 cubic yards of sand removed and placed south of the Harbor.
  • Leland: 15,000 cubic yards of material removed from the harbor and placed on the beach south of the Harbor.
  • Muskegon: 56,000 cubic yards of sand removed and placed at 4-ft. depth contour, south of the South breakwater.
  • New Buffalo: 18,500 cubic yards of sand removed and placed south of the harbor.
  • Pentwater: 13,000 cubic yards of material removed and placed on the beach north of the harbor.
  • St. Joseph: 23,000 cubic yards of clean sand removed and placed south of the harbor.


In spring 2011 more than 72,000 cubic yards of lake bottom sands were removed hydraulically from the Muskegon harbor opening into Lake Michigan. This work was done under a $466,000 contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The sand was placed on the city of Muskegon's Pere Marquette beach from south of the city's water filtration plant to near the curve on Beach Street. Dredge sands in past years had been put north of the breakwater on the Muskegon State Park shoreline, where Memorial Drive ends at Lake Michigan. The crews were then scheduled to move to Grand Haven and then Holland to complete their normal spring harbor maintenance work. More info.

Lake Superior

  • Little Lake: 34,000 cubic yards of material removed and placed east of the east breakwater.
  • Ontonagon: 40,000 cubic yards of material removed and placed on the beach east of the east pier.


The Fiscal Year 2017 Civil Works Budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provides $4.62 billion in gross discretionary funding for the Civil Works program. This budget lists proposed projects and the associated budget justification by state.

State, Territory, and Commonwealth Beach Nourishment Programs: A National Overview (2000) is a report NOAA/OCRM that provides an overview of the problem of beach erosion, various means of addressing this problem, and discusses issues regarding the use of beach nourishment. Section 2 of the report provides an overview of state, territorial, and commonwealth coastal management policies regarding beach nourishment and attendant funding programs. Appendix B provides individual summaries of 33 beach nourishment programs and policies.


Contact

Tom Graf
Phone: (517) 335-3471
Email: graft@michigan.gov



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