Marinette harbor cleanup project gets EPA grant

FOX 11 News vehicle
FOX 11 News vehicle
MARINETTE - A project to clean up Menekaunee Harbor has received a boost with a $5 million federal grant.

The city of Marinette and the state Department of Natural Resources are working together to clean up the harbor at the mouth of the Menominee River. The 13-acre bay has been contaminated with pollutants including arsenic, coal tar and paint sludge. Much of the shoreline protection consists of dilapidated wooden seawall pilings, and fish and wildlife habitat is affected by invasive plants, contaminated sediment and excessive sedimentation, authorities say.

"The City of Marinette is pleased and proud to receive this large grant from the EPA, as well as a previous grant from the DNR," Marinette Mayor Denise J. Ruleau said in a news release. "We believe these improvements will lead to increased public usage of the Menekaunee Harbor and allow for substantial economic development in Menekaunee."

Project leaders plan to use the federal money, along with state money, to dredge the harbor, removing about 75,000 cubic yards of sediment, 22,000 cubic yards of which is contaminated with metals that affect the health and functioning of the aquatic ecosystem.