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Army Corp of Engineers use submersible to study algae causing muck along Lake St. Clair shoreline

Army Corp of Engineers use submersible to study alga causing muck along St. Clair Shore shoreline
Posted at 5:17 PM, Jun 14, 2024

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — Over the past few years, residents who live on the shoreline of Lake St. Clair have been dealing with muck.

For the past year, the Army Corp of Engineers has been researching what’s causing the muck and what to do to stop it from growing.

“Research doesn’t really mean much to me without results,” Austin Perron of Harrison Township said.

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Perron has lived in a condo off of the lake in Harrison Township for about three years. He says he can’t wait for researchers to find a solution that will stop the impassible muck that is plaguing the boat slip behind his condo.

“There’s not enough water for any boats to come in here, so we got residents here that pay for boat slips out of their own pockets,” Perron said. "They all have boats that they paid for and they’re paying for boat wells else where to keep their boats.”

Watch our May 2023 report when the Army Corps of Engineers started investigating below:

The muck mess on Lake St. Clair

Scientists say a mat-forming alga is what’s causing the muck, but they don’t understand why is started forming on the lake.

That’s where the U.S Army Corp of Engineers come in.

They along with Macomb County contributed $400,000 to studying this alga.

Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller says the Army Corp of Engineers recently deployed a submersible where the muck is.

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“They’re looking at the water column in the lake from the lake bed up, so they’re trying to figure out how far into the lake does it begin to form because you can dredge this, but it does come back in about a year or so,” Miller said.

Miller says her personal belief is that the muck is forming because of combined sewage overflow.

VIDEO: An October 2022 report of invasive algae forming monstrous mats of muck along Lake Saint Clair

Invasive algae forms monstrous mats of muck along Lake Saint Clair

“Macomb County is going a long way to reduce any combined sewer overflow that we have in our county and we would like… some of the other neighboring counties that dump into the Clinton River, which comes out to Lake St. Claire, to stop doing it as well,” Miller said.

I reached out to the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash for comment on what Miller had to say. Nash told me that the alga is an invasive species and there has been no evidence that supports the muck is being caused by Oakland County’s sewage overflow.