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Great Lakes AOCs

Division Street Outfall Legacy Act Project

Work wrapped up in 2012 on a project to remove contaminated sediment from a Muskegon Lake bay known as the Division Street Outfall. The Environmental Protection Agency worked with the former Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnership, the city of Muskegon and Hartshorn Marina, which is adjacent to the site.

The $12 million Great Lakes Legacy Act project removed 43,000 cubic yards of sediment contaminated with mercury and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. Legacy Act funds covered 65 percent of the cost, or about $7.8 million. MDEQ provided the required nonfederal 35 percent share, about $4.2 million.

  • The first phase, dredging contaminated sediment, ran from June to December 2011. Workers mechanically dredged sediment and removed the water. The material was then loaded into sealed trucks and taken to Ottawa County Farms Landfill, a commercially licensed solid waste landfill in Coopersville, Mich., about 25 miles southeast of the project area.
  • In the second phase, workers placed a 6 to 12-inch sand layer over 60 acres of sediment in part of the bay. This sand layer will help reduce exposure of aquatic life to any remaining contaminated sediment and help the lake recover naturally. This phase operated September 2011 through January 2012.

The project also included habitat restoration along a portion of the shoreline. This included removing invasive plants from the shoreline, grading the area, and covering it with a special blocking fabric and  soil. The shoreline was then planted with native flowers, grass seeds, and native bushes.