Despite what’s expected to be a record high level this summer for Lake Michigan, the outer harbor in St. Joseph will be dredged by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with the work expected to start next month. During this week’s city commission meeting, St. Joseph City Manager John Hodgson said they’ve asked the Corps to place dredged material as far to the north as possible, starting at Park Street and moving south.
“Over the course of a year, the material generally tends to drift to the south. So the farther north it’s placed in this area, the more time it will take to traverse the area, behind the houses, through the beach, behind the water plant, before exiting to the south,” Hodgson said, and explained the reason for the request.
“Even when it’s not right on the shoreline when it’s offshore in the near-shore environment shallowing up the lake, it’s still absorbing wave energy and providing protection for the shoreline,” said Hodgson.
He added the Corps had planned to dredge last year, but decided it wasn’t needed. This year after taking another look, they have determined it is necessary to protect the commercial shipping channel.