House approves measure to study water levels in Michigan
Written by Detroit Free Press   
Friday, 15 July 2005 05:26
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would conduct a study of dwindling water levels in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron under a bill approved by the House on Thursday.

The proposal, backed by Rep. Candice Miller, a Republican from Macomb County's Harrison Township, would instruct the Army Corps to measure erosion in the St. Clair River and develop a three-dimensional model of water flow in the river.

A study released in January found that erosion at the bottom of the river has led to a significant drop-off in water levels on the two lakes. The drop-off, likely caused by dredging and other human activities on the river, has caused the two lakes to decline 32 inches since around 1860, said the report by W.F. Baird & Associates, a coastal engineering firm.

Miller told a House panel last month that 845 million gallons of Great Lakes water is lost every day because of the erosion.

"We have been losing water from our lakes at an alarming rate. It is as if someone pulled the plug out of a drain," Miller said Thursday. "We need to pinpoint the problem -- and put the plug back in."

The proposal would include $5 million to help improve the ecosystem of Lake St. Clair, targeting invasive species and restoring habitats.

The study next will be considered by the Senate.

 
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