Upton Pushes For Dredging Funds


Now is the time to get some dredging done in recreational harbors in southwest Michigan. So says Congressman Fred Upton, who has sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asking that money be set aside for harbors in Saugatuck, South Haven, and New Buffalo. He spoke with WSJM News about the issue.

“Like it or not it’s something that has to be done, and I’ve been helpful in getting commercial ports dredged, and that’s the St. Joe-Benton Harbor port,” Uptpn said.

Upton says the recreational harbors don’t need to be dredged as often as the commercial ports, but every so often, they do need it. Plus, he says high water levels create another reason.

“There’s a real need for that dredging material, assuming that it’s clean, to be used as a natural replenishment for our beaches,” Upton said.

Upton notes funding has been secured for the dredging of the commercial harbor in the St. Joseph-Benton Harbor area. According to the fiscal year 2019 budget proposal, Great Lakes Navigation Operations and Maintenance will receive more than $108 million, a $2.5 million increase over last year. That includes $1.5 million for the dredging of the Benton Harbor-St. Joseph Harbor.