County Offers Assistance with Lake Muck
St. Clair Shores City Council and administration members meet with Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel to discuss buildup of muck along the shoreline.
Lakefront residents and the city have additional support in their effort to identify and remove the muck that has built up along seawalls north of Masonic.
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel recently met with three members of St. Clair Shores City Council and city manager Ben Hughes to discuss the buildup of the muck and possible solutions.
Among the solutions which came from the meeting between Hackel, his staff and councilmen Ron Frederick, Dave Rubello and Pete Rubino, was an offer to support any applications to dredge the muck.
"The county executive and his staff are prepared to support an application to the Army Corps of Engineers and the Michigan Department of Environmental Conservation, two different agencies that are necessary to give us approval to dredge and remove that seaweed and muck," said Hughes.
"Traditionally it takes several months for the Army Corps of Engineers to sign off on such a permit. They are prepared to expedite that request," Hughes said.
While the city and residents will have support in removing the muck, who will pay for the dredging has not been determined—or if the buildup would return.
The buildup was brought to the attention of local and state officials by residents. State Rep. Anthony Forlini, who was also contacted, was able to bring the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to St. Clair Shores to investigate.
State officials determined the muck was composed of algae balls and built up over recent weeks.
Mike Gutow, who has led the effort to remove the muck, stated that he has been impressed with the support from the elected and appointed officials.
By removing the muck, Gutow also believes the beach closure problem at Veterans Memorial Park would be addressed.
"If we can have this muck—which is now in part a solid land mass—dredged out, then install a bubbler system similar to ones that marinas (have) to keep the muck from settling here or near Memorial Park. I strongly believe the problems associated with what has happened and have been happening for the past years would as a result be eliminated," Gutow said.
"Michigan residents deserve to see a clean lake again and use it's beautiful beaches," Gutow said."These are the things that make us all proud to say we are part of Pure Michigan."
Hackel stated that it is a goal of his administration to be more accessible to residents to discuss their concerns about water quality.
"If they have problems, we will give them direct resources or work besides them," Hackel said. "The county doesn't have the dredging equipment or employees to clean up the muck. We do have the ability to identify resources."