SAUGATUCK, Mich. (WOOD) — The city of Saugatuck will receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the harbor and portions of the Kalamazoo River.

Dredging, the removal of sediment from underwater, is frequently done in the Great Lakes to help clear the harbors and navigation channels so ships can get through, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

For the 2023 fiscal year, the Army Corps of Engineers has allotted $895,000 to be used to dredge Saugatuck Harbor and the Kalamazoo River.

“When our office was made aware that unusually heavy soil deposits in the River Mouth posed a serious safety hazard for boats traveling through the Channel, we immediately sounded the alarm bells.  Through the cooperative efforts our local communities and fast response from our federal representatives, Summer 2023 will be saved here in Saugatuck/Douglas,” said Daniel DeFranco, Saugatuck Township Manager.

Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, said the dredging will help boost the economy.

“Harbors and rivers serve as major sources of economic activity for the communities along the Lakeshore,” said Huizenga. “I am happy to share that the communities of Saugatuck and Douglas will have the resources needed to dredge the harbor and portions of the Kalamazoo River. This will help the summer tourism season reach its full potential while also strengthening the local small business economy for residents and visitors to enjoy!”