Comments Sought on Potential Long-term Solutions for Encroaching Stamp Sands at Buffalo Reef
Posted on: February 15, 2019

Short Term Solutions Facilitate Long Term Planning

Buffalo Reef is an area of productive Lake Superior fish habitat located on the east side of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Historical waste material called “stamp sands,” from copper mining, is encroaching on the critical fish habitat of Buffalo Reef.

In October of last year a contract was awarded to Peterson Companies, Inc., of Minocqua Wisconsin, to finally begin the process of dredging enough stamp sands from Grand Traverse harbour and an underwater trough north of Buffalo Reef to stave off encroachment on Buffalo Reef for the next 5 to 7 years. While that dredging project, set to commence in spring 2019, was undergoing comment and planning in 2018, the Buffalo Reef Task Force (BRTF), a panel of federal, state and tribal agencies, was reviewing potential alternatives to deal with the stamp sands problem for the long term.

An aerial view looking north of the Grand Traverse Harbor in Houghton County. This photo shows dredging operations in progress in 2017. The stamp sands are being dredged from the harbor channel. Natural sand beach is seen in the bottom left of the image, with stamp sand beach extending from the harbor to the top of the photograph. (Photo courtesy of Neil Harri)

Draft Buffalo Reef Alternatives Report Released

This month the BRTF released the Draft Buffalo Reef Alternatives Report 2019, on which they are now seeking public comment. The report includes background information on the project’s development thus far and a brief description of thirteen separate alternatives and their associated risks. The solution for the complex issue of relocating millions of cubic yards of stamp sands will most likely involve a combination of two or more of these alternatives. Public comments at this stage will help guide the BRTF in selecting three or four of the alternatives for further assessment and more detailed analysis based on effectiveness, risks and costs (both immediate and long term). The report is open for public comment until March 8.

For Information on how to submit comments Click Here

Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to Infosuperior…only #LakeSuperior news.

It's only fair to share...Share on Facebook
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Share on Tumblr
0Print this page
Email this to someone