Nearly 60 emergency dredging projects will soon get underway statewide. Governor Snyder signed a package of bills opening up $21 million in state funds for the work to both protect the economy and ensure a safe boating season. The governor called on lawmakers to pass the legislation earlier this year due to low water levels on the Great Lakes and the closure of harbors, such as St. Joseph. State Representative Al Pscholka of Stevensville sponsored one of the bills signed by the governor to allow the Department of Environmental Quality to issue a dredging permit before a 20-day public notice period ends if there is an emergency. Efforts are also underway on Capitol Hill to spend federal money on dredging to get the federal government's portion of harbors cleaned out. Senator Levin and Congressman Upton have both lambasted Washington for using money collected for dredging to pay down the nation's debt instead of spending it on harbors.
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