Erosion Along Pere Marquette River Causes Concern

The Pere Marquette River is precious to many for its beauty and fishing.

Now there are concerns over what some see as a big threat to the river.

A heavily used railroad track sits above an area of the river, where the banks are eroding.

This is posing a pollution threat if a train derailed.

It’s happening west of M-37 and south of Baldwin on the Flint Rainbow Site and causing concern for many.

The Pere Marquette River, the only Michigan river without dams and the first in North America to have German Brown Trout.
It draws people in from all over the world.

“What’s really unique I would say probably 80 percent of the people that catch fish in this river let them go. They care that much about it,” said Tom Seroczynski, the vice president of the Pere Marquette Watershed Council.

That’s why the Pere Marquette Watershed Council is doing what they can to take care of it.
On the Flint Rainbow Property, above the river is a rail track.

Heavy trains and vibrations have caused erosion.

“Over the years, with all of that going on, the bank is gradually decreased, gotten steeper. The sand just keeps falling in,” said Seroczynski.
The erosion takes place right along a curve and the watershed council says they’ve had concerns about this for years but now they think they might have just the solution to fix it.

“We would put a giant boulder size fieldstones in the river, which are natural in the river,” said Seroczynski.

They say they’ve spent around $25,000 for research to find a solution.

Now they’ll need around $250,000 to put it into action or else they fear a train full of diesel could end up in the river.

“Can you imagine that kind of a disaster and this river is a beautiful river, but it’s not that big. If a locomotive went into it I can’t even imagine,” said Seroczynski.

A local fly fishing guide says the river is essential to the community.

He, like many, want to prevent an incident.

“Once that happens it would just devastate the community. It wouldn’t be the same,” said Jory Dirkse, a local fly fishing guide.