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GLIN==> U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announces St. Joseph River Sediment Study and Public Meeting on August 24, 2005



Detroit - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District announced the
completion of a sediment study that is hoped to improve water quality, fish
habitat and reduce the amount of sediment eroded from the St. Joseph
watershed.   Computer models were developed that simulate land-use changes
in the watershed and how those changes affect the amount of sediment that
gets carried into the St. Joseph River.  The intent of the study is to
provide guidance on how to better manage the watershed from a sediment
perspective.   Some of the scenarios examined in this study were crop
rotation and tillage practices and the addition of edge-of-field filter
strips along the river.  Comparisons were also made with historical
(pre-development) conditions.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has dredged nearly 2,774,000 cubic yards of
sediment from the St. Joseph Harbor (at St. Joseph, Michigan) since 1963 at
an expense of over $8 million.  If the practices described above are
successfully implemented, the Corps expects to significantly reduce the
amount of sediment dredged from the St. Joseph Harbor.  Additionally, water
clarity and dissolved oxygen levels are expected to improve with a reduction
of sediment input.  Lastly, a reduction in sediment will improve the habitat
for fish that use the river bottom for spawning.

Public Meeting: 

The findings of this study will be presented at a public meeting on 24
August 2005, which will be held from 9:00-11:30 am (EDT) at the St. Joseph
County Commission on Aging located at 103 S. Douglas Avenue in Three Rivers,
Michigan (adjacent to the Three Rivers Public Library).  Following the
public meeting we will host a technical workshop at the same location from
12:00-5:00 pm (EDT).  The afternoon workshop is intended to train engineers
and scientists how to run these models and is open to all interested parties
that would like to gain this additional technical expertise. 

We will be distributing draft copies of the study report at these meetings
and will be soliciting comments for a period of 30 days.  If you need
further information, contact Dr. Jim Selegean at the Corps' Great Lakes
Hydraulics and Hydrology Office at (313) 226-6791.

Directions To Meeting Location: 

Three Rivers, Michigan, is accessible via US-131 which crosses I-94 to the
North and I-80/I-90 to the South. From the North: take US-131 South, turn
left onto W. Michigan Avenue (MI-60/US-131 BR), and turn right onto S.
Douglas Avenue.  From the South: take US-131 North, take the MI-60 ramp
toward Three Rivers, slight right onto W. Michigan Avenue (MI-60/US-131 BR),
and turn right onto S. Douglas Avenue.  End at 103 S. Douglas Avenue, St.
Joseph County Commission on Aging.   


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