Governor Rick Snyder has approved funding for almost 60 harbor dredging projects across the state.
Ships and recreational boaters are struggling to get in and out of harbors because of low water levels in the Great Lakes.
Snyder says almost everyone in Lansing recognizes the need for emergency dredging.
“In some ways we asked people to delay projects a year so we could do these projects. And I appreciate their understanding and cooperation in that, because I think this was a case where there was very little opposition to the work we’ve done on this project.”
The federal government is often responsible for dredging projects in the Great Lakes. But with water levels at historic lows, Snyder says the state couldn’t afford to wait for Washington to act.
“I think this is a case where we’re going to go faster than what they would normally do. So we hope to get potentially reimbursed in some capacity, theoretically, for some of the places that the Army Corps (of Engineers) might do. But we’re not going to wait.”
The governor asked for more than $20 million dollars for emergency dredging in his proposed budget. State lawmakers approved the plan last week.