Close to 60 Michigan harbors should be dredged in time for the summer boating season.
That’s according to Governor Rick Snyder, who approved funding for the projects Wednesday.
We have more from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher.
The governor signed legislation to pay more than 20 million dollars to dredge public harbors, create a loan program for private marinas, and to speed up the permitting process for dredging.
Snyder says it’s a response to record-low water levels in the Great Lakes, which are making it difficult for ships and boaters to get in and out of harbors.
“Michigan has the third highest number of registered boats of any state in the nation,” he says. “And we love our boats, and we love our waterways, and our opportunities to do boating.”
Snyder says low water levels are also a threat to the state’s shipping and tourism industries.
State lawmakers are still debating ways to pay for long-term dredging projects if lake levels don’t improve. Governor Snyder says he hopes emergency harbor maintenance won’t become a yearly problem.