Muskegon Lake to be Removed as Area of Concern

PHOTO COURTESY OF MUSKEGON LAKE NATURE PRESERVE

Looking at serene, beautiful Muskegon Lake today, it’s hard to imagine that for years it served as an industrial waste zone. After several decades and $80 million in restoration, the lake has been virtually cleaned of its industrial past, reports MLive.

“It’s certainly an exciting time,” said Muskegon Mayor Ken Johnson, reports MLive. “Throughout Muskegon’s history we had viewed the lake as something to be exploited. Due to many years and many, many millions of dollars, and considerable collaborative effort, our Muskegon Lake has been restored.”

The 4,149-acre lake is fed by Muskegon River and the watershed flows into Lake Michigan, creating one of the best deep-water ports on the east side of the lake. Starting in the 1800s, industry took over the lake’s shoreline, eating up its beaches, sand and accessibility. Over the years, slag, industrial debris and trash was dumped into the lake, until in 1987 Muskegon Lake was designated a Great Lakes’ area of concern. 

After years of environmental advocacy and millions in restoration efforts that included the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of contaminated lake bottom sediment and fill and 123,000 tons of logging era debris, the lake is finally set to be removed as an area of concern. Acres of empty shoreline have been restored, and opportunity is wide open, with residential and commercial projects in the works.

“It demonstrates that cleaning up the Great Lakes is possible,” said Kathy Evans, a program manager with the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission, reports MLive.

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Source: https://lakelandboating.com/muskegon-lake-to-be-removed-as-area-of-concern/