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Dredging Complete at Howards Bay

The first bucket of material removed from Howards Bay. (Photo Credit: USACE)
The first bucket of material removed from Howards Bay. (Photo Credit: USACE)

The Great Lakes Legacy Act dredging project in Howards Bay is complete. The project was performed in partnership with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Fraser Shipyards Inc., the City of Superior, Wisconsin and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in coordination with U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The $21.5 million project IN the St. Louis Area of Concern was funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative with in-kind and cash contributions from the non-federal partners.

84,660 cubic yards of contaminated sediments were removed from Howards Bay and the three slips within it:  Hughitt Slip; Cummings Slip; and Fraser Slip. Maintenance dredging in the Federal Navigational Channel removed approximately 34,000 cubic yards of material.

The project leaves behind a healthier aquatic habitat that will improve the overall health of the St. Louis River. It also clears the way for future maintenance dredging, which had previously been restricted due to contamination in Howards Bay.

The dredged materials that met strict environmental criteria were placed on the closed Wisconsin Point Landfill to improve the function and slope of the landfill cap. The dredged materials will be covered with six inches of clean material from the USACE’s Erie Pier facility, and will be covered with six additional inches of topsoil to help establish native vegetation growth.

The landfill is being stabilized with hydro-mulch to protect the surrounding environment until permanent vegetation is established in the spring. As part of the project, the City of Superior plans to open the former landfill to the public as a natural area complete with gravel trails, benches, and a pavilion.