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E-M:/ fish and wildlife service blasts new baltimore marina

Enviro-Mich message from davemec@acd.net (Dave Dempsey)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is officially opposing a marina project
that has been pushed by Michigan's Governor, the state's DEQ Director, and
members of the state's Congressional delegation over the objections of
resource professionals and independent consultants.  The proposed New
Baltimore marina would, says the Service, would significantly harm "aquatic
habitats of national importance, as well as other fish and wildlife
resources of national significance."

Signed by Regional Director William F. Hartwig, the Service's letter, sent
to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cincinnati regional office, says the
agency is willing to elevate the proposed permit to the Secretary of the
Interior for review and action.  The regional Corps is currently
considering a permit for the project after it was already rejected once by
the Corps' Detroit office.  Political pressure forced the agency to
consider the same proposal a second time.

The letter details values that would be jeopardized by the proposed marina,
including immediate destruction of shallow water and submergent vegetation
and significant secondary and cumulative impacts.  The area is a valuable
refuge and habitat for migratory waterflowl and spawning and nursery
habitat for 23 species of fish, including, yellow perch, largemouth bass,
and rainbow smelt.

Michigan's DNR rejected the project twice but after pressure from DEQ
Director Russell Harding and Governor Engler, DEQ issued a state permit.
U.S. Senator Spencer Abraham and Congressman David Bonior are also
promoting the marina, which they say is important to the redevelopment of
New Baltimore.

Dave Dempsey
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
(517) 487-9539
(517) 487-9541 (fax)

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