Leland Harbor: DREDGE CON TWO Status

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jimh
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Leland Harbor: DREDGE CON TWO Status

Postby jimh » Sun May 20, 2018 10:51 am

There is a very long, very interesting, nicely illustrated prior thread about all the recent events at the Leland, Michigan, harbor of refuge. The harbor entrance is prone to shoaling and requires frequent dredging. When the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) could not provide any dredging for many years, the little town of Leland had to hire private dredge contractors to keep its harbor open, and ultimately decided to buy its own dredge at a cost of about $500,000.

A few days ago I visited Leland and noticed that the harbor entrance was being dredged, but then did a double-take when I saw the nice, new, shiny, blue dredge bought last year still tied to the dock. The dredge working at the harbor entrance was a different vessel.

USACEdredgeLelandMay2018.jpg
The dredge ARTHUR J working at Leland harbor entrance, May17, 2018. Photo by the author
USACEdredgeLelandMay2018.jpg (51.66 KiB) Viewed 298 times


In a brief conversation with some locals, I learned that the USACE seemed to be a bit upset that Leland bought their own dredge, and several months after the purchase was made the USACE found funding to allocate $500,000 to dredging the harbor at Leland. The USACE had last dredged the harbor in 2010, and for the last seven years all dredging was paid for by the village of Leland. Without the dredging, the harbor would have not been accessible to any boats, probably not even a kayak.

The harbor was just dredged in the Spring of 2017 to a depth of 12-feet. Now, in Spring 2018 the USACE is spending $500,000 to re-dredge the harbor. The dredge ARTHUR J and its support vessel, the DRUMMOND ISLANDER are believed to be owned by MCM Marine Inc. of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and apparently working under contract for the USACE. Also in the harbor was their SONAR survey vessel.

The weather on that particular Thursday was quite cold and brisk. The wind was from the North at 20 to 25-knots. Seas on Lake Michigan were white-capped. The air temperature was in the 50's, but with the wind chill and the cold breeze off the lake, it was blustery. There were no transient recreational boats in the harbor. I would have taken more pictures, but it was so darn cold I retreated to the warmth of the car as soon as I snapped a shot or two of the dredge at work.

I should have photographed the nicely restored Leland dredge work boat. I showed its original appearance in the other thread:

Image

It has been beautifully upgraded and now has a Mercury 150-HP FOURSTROKE PRO outboard for propulsion.

ConB
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Re: Leland Harbor: DREDGE CON TWO Status

Postby ConB » Thu May 24, 2018 6:58 pm

When I saw a TV picture of the Leland Marina with a dredge working I assumed It was Leland's very own dredge.

The Leelanau Enterprise this week repeats Jim's story.

I am wondering what changed and so suddenly. Maybe Leland sent the National Park Service a very large bill for the many boats they own for entering Leland harbor. Or is it a Trump vs Obama thing?

Con
!987 Outrage 18 / 1987 150 hp Johnson & 1969 13 / 30hp Johnson tiller

jimh
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Re: Leland Harbor: DREDGE CON TWO Status

Postby jimh » Fri May 25, 2018 3:48 pm

According to the report in the ENTERPRISE, the harbor entrance was dredged to 18-feet, the deepest excavation in 30 years. The spoils were pumped onto the beach, and a crowd formed, looking for a local "gemstone," the Leland Blue. A Leland Blue is not exactly a precious natural mineral, but is actually slag from an old iron ore smelting operation in c.1880 in the town that has a peculiar blue color. The stones are often fashioned into jewelry by local artisans and hobbyists.

The inner harbor was also dredged to 12-feet in many places to permit deeper draft boats to use the outer end-docks of the marina. The dredging operation has concluded, so Leland Harbor should be open and deep all Summer. The marina is dedicated to transient boats, and it is generally possible to get a slip there for a few days when cruising past.