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The BIA Board has has written to the Army Corps senior officer for the Great Lakes and the director of Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Water Resources Division seeking assistance with developing plans for responding to high lake levels.

Unfortunately, the high-water threat to homes and other improvements has led to poorly designed attempts to protect the shoreline. These poorly engineered efforts are destructive ecologically, have harmed neighboring property and, in some cases, have resulted in creating hazards to navigation from floating debris. In addition to these issues, our municipal marina and ferry dock are threatened by the high water.  They are both critical to the economy of the island. 

Unique environments are at risk. Home and property values are threatened and, as a result the island’s tax base is also at risk. Failure to properly address the issue threatens the island’s environmental and economic sustainability. …  If the lake continues to rise as predicted, the consequences could be dire.

Letter to Lieutenant Colonel Gregory E. Turner and Ms. Teresa Seidel from BIA President Kevin Boyle, November 12, 2019

The letter notes a recent visit to the island by county and state emergency response team leaders (as part of a regular preparedness process) and discussion of a meeting with the Army Corps on the mainland in the spring. While expressing appreciation for these efforts, the letter urges quicker action because of logistics issues for the island and invites a session or sessions on the island to make the presentations more accessible for islanders.

A copy of the letter is available here.