Saving a Gift of Nature
Grand Marais Harbor and Breakwall Restoration Project

Harbor Restoration

President's Statement on H.R. 2419, the 'Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2006'

I have signed into law H.R. 2419, the "Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2006." The Act funds programs of the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation, the Army Corps of Engineers, and several other agencies, and provides funds to help protect the Nation's environment.

The executive branch shall construe sections 101 and 303 of the Act as calling for, but not mandating, consultation with the Congress as a precondition to the execution of a law, as is consistent with the Constitution's provisions concerning the separate powers of the Congress to legislate and the President to execute the laws.

November 19, 2005.

Kay Wampler-11/29/2005: With the President's announcement, Grand Marais can expect the Corps of Engineers to begin the next phase of the project to restore the breakwall. According to the schedule laid out in the 2003 Evaluation Report, the next stage would be preparing the Plans and Specifications. This is planned to take from October 2005 through March 2006. Then the Project Cooperation Agreement Phase is scheduled for April through July 2006. Advertisement and Award of the contract is planned for August 2006 through October 2006 and Construction, estimated to take 18 months, is scheduled for November 2006 through April 2008. Let us hope that this schedule is expedited and construction begins before next November... As we all know, Lake Superior is not very forgiving in November. Congratulations to everyone that has worked on this project over the many, many years! I'd like to thank Wally Parish and Otto Bufe, especially for their undying devotion to our Harbor.

$1.5 million targeted to repair harbor
By JOHN PEPIN, Journal Munising Bureau

GRAND MARAIS - More than $5.7 million in federal funding was approved Tuesday for an extensive list of northern Michigan projects, including $1.5 million for Grand Marais Harbor breakwater replacement..

Full Article in the Mining Journal - 11/9/2005


Bart Stupak called Lee Durrwachter [Twp Supervisor] today (11/8/2005) to announce that the Grand Marais Harbor reconstruction funding is going to be approved. [Lori Savage, Burt Township Clerk - updates will be found on]

The once deep natural harbor of refuge at Grand Marais, Michigan:


U.S. Engineer Office
Map of Harbor, 1903

Map showing the construction project creating a navigation channel to the natural harbor of refuge.


Corps of Engineers photo of harbor, 1939

The original 1896 design of two parallel jetties and an associated timber pile breakwater provided a stable and effective coastal engineering structure from approximately 1896 through 1943.  During World War II, maintenance of the timber-pile breakwater was justifiably abandoned.  Unfortunately, maintenance of this component was never resumed.
Complete history of the breakwater


Corps photo of harbor, 1964

Once the breakwater structure was compromised due to neglect, it was totally destroyed.  Extensive sediment deposition has since occurred.  This natural deep-water embayment is filling in at an alarming rate.


Corps documentation of sediment deposition

Marquette Mining journal article on the breakwater

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