Western Lake Erie Waterkeeper Association

Open-Lake Dumping

As the average depth of Maumee Bay is only 5', the Maumee Bay Shipping Channel must be dredged every year to 28'. These sediments are open-lake dumped about a mile from the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse.

The Maumee River Toledo Shipping Channel is dredged every three years. Because of contamination, these sediments are placed in a confined disposal facility. 

Now in 2007, the Army Corps of Engineers says that all but a mile of the sediments are safe for open-lake disposal.  However, at minimum, the sediments contain nutrients, such as phosphorous, that are then resuspended in the lake, giving rise to the growth of algae.

The impact of this sediment redistribution of nutrients and its impact on water quality needs to be further assessed.

The State of Michigan and the Western Lake Erie Waterkeeper Association agree that open-lake dumping is bad practice. Instead, WLEWA recommends creating an island in Lake Erie for the sediment.

Comments to the Ohio EPA on open-lake dumping and dredging were being accepted until November 23, 2007. Thanks go out to all of you who voiced your opinions to the Ohio EPA.

Western Lake Erie: The Warmest, Shallowest, "Fishiest" Area of the Great Lakes
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Western Lake Erie Landsat
Walleye Painting
Otter Creek
Toledo Harbor Lighthouse
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