City may dredge Harbor Island launch

City officials are beginning to look at their options regarding the current water depth of the Harbor Island boat launch. "About 2001 is the last time we did any dredging on it,' Grand Haven Public Works Director Bill Hunter said. "And, this past year, we've had a lot of complaints.'
Alex Doty
Feb 10, 2012



The boat launch was built in 1976 and brings in $50,000 annually, city officials said.


Based on preliminary surveys, Hunter said about 90 percent of the launch channel is filled-in at less than 3.5 feet of draft, making it a challenge for boaters using the launch site. About 100 percent of the channel is at less than 6 feet of draft.

According to a memorandum prepared by the Department of Public Works for City Council, investment in the boat launch over the course of the past decade has been minimal. The most recent major investment was an unmanned parking lot kiosk.

Hunter said if the launch becomes unusable due to sediment build-up, boaters would be likely choose to go to boat launches in other communities. The closest public launches are located in Spring Lake, Grand Haven Township and Robinson Township.

City Councilman Mike Fritz said that it was important to get the channel taken care of for the boaters who utilize it.

“It has to be done one way or another,” he said. “It’s a valuable asset out there.”

The size of the proposed dredged channel is approximately 50 feet wide by 550 feet long, and it is unknown whether dredging will be needed along the entire length of the channel until a bathymetric (underwater depth) survey is completed.

It is also estimated that actual dredging costs could run between $140,000 and $200,000, depending on where the sediment has to be deposited.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



The dredging needs to be done. And with this years undoubtedly lower water levels, its even more imperative. While there at it they may as well extend one or two of the docks for larger boats to launch easier. Between the short docks and the sediment build up, the place is useless to larger boats.


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