Low Great Lakes water levels raising concern in Lansing
Gov. Rick Snyder’s recent claim that his administration is going to take emergency action to deal with diminishing Great Lakes water levels caused me to raise my eyebrows. Already calling for $1.2 billion in funds to fix Michigan roads and bridges, the governor recently said that Michigan harbors and boat ramps could benefit from the infrastructure funds, too.
As any of us who spends time outdoors knows, the upper Great Lakes are flirting with historic low levels, making many state boat ramps useless and waterways impassable. In addition, many of our pothole-riddled roads threaten to throw a boat from its trailer while you're pulling it to a dry boat ramp.
But while it is encouraging to hear the governor include water projects along with plans to fix roads and bridges, I believe we’re a long way off from seeing a solution. Members of the state legislature, including lawmakers in the governor's own party, are already grumbling about how we might pay for these fixes. Meanwhile, while we can dredge channels and marinas and lower docks yet some more, there’s another critical element needed to improve boating in the state and it’s been in short supply, lately – water.
I’m glad the governor is recognizing the problem – or problems – and proposing that the state do something about it, but he still has a fight ahead of him in Lansing. So while he handles that end of it, the rest of us should meanwhile hope for the only sure thing that will help us float boats off trailers – more rain.