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Upton to U.S. Army Corps: Help with Severe Erosion in New Buffalo

‘The continued destruction of this Michigan shoreline and the potential destruction of a public utility cannot be allowed’

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Washington, October 3, 2017 | comments

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, recently sent a letter to the United States Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, which oversees the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering, to enlist help with the severe erosion problems plaguing the City of New Buffalo and New Buffalo Township. Signing onto the letter additionally was U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton.  

“We write to you today to enlist your help with severe erosion that the City of New Buffalo and New Buffalo Township are experiencing due to the failure of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to maintain the beach nourishment plan as agreed to when the New Buffalo Harbor was originally constructed.  The erosion is not only causing destruction to private property, but is also threatening the water supply for the City of New Buffalo due to its pump house located in the area being eroded….The continued destruction of this Michigan shoreline and the potential destruction of a public utility cannot be allowed.  I support the findings of the 2009 Corps study and the further findings of Edgewater Resources, and urge you to prioritize this significant project.” The letter reads.

The full text of the letter can be found here or below:

Mr. Douglas W. Lamont

Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works

108 Army Pentagon

Washington, D.C. 20310

Dear Assistant Secretary Lamont:

We write to you today to enlist your help with severe erosion that the City of New Buffalo and New Buffalo Township are experiencing due to the failure of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to maintain the beach nourishment plan as agreed to when the New Buffalo Harbor was originally constructed.  The erosion is not only causing destruction to private property, but is also threatening the water supply for the City of New Buffalo due to its pump house located in the area being eroded. 

The New Buffalo Shoreline Alliance, in conjunction with the support of the City of New Buffalo and the township, has retained Edgewater Resources, LLC to seek a permanent solution to the problem.  Edgewater reviewed the 2009 Corps study and concurred with the basic findings of the study.  However, due to the lack of nourishment over the past twenty-two years the findings of the 2009 study must be expanded from five to 10 breakwaters and beach nourishment to 33 breakwaters with 600,000 cubic yards of beach nourishment.  This expansion will have an estimated cost of $22,000,000.  This increase is due to the damage that has occurred because of the cessation of beach nourishment.  The cost of these findings has been bore entirely by contributions from the affected homeowners’ associations and the board members of the New Buffalo Shoreline Alliance.

The continued destruction of this Michigan shoreline and the potential destruction of a public utility cannot be allowed.  I support the findings of the 2009 Corps study and the further findings of Edgewater Resources, and urge you to prioritize this significant project.

Thank you for considering this request.  If you have any questions or need additional information regarding the situation affecting Southwest Michigan’s shoreline from New Buffalo to Michiana please reach out to our Washington, D.C. offices anytime to facilitate this conversation.

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