Pere Marquette River Erosion Concerns Remain as Discussion on Solutions Moves Forward

Serious concerns continue about this erosion along railroad tracks on the Pere Marquette river in Lake County.

9&10 News first told you about the erosion back in February.

The erosion is happening along a stretch of river west of M-37 south of bawling on the Flint Rainbow Site.

The Pere Marquette Watershed Council has spent months looking at solutions to the erosion.

They’re worried if the erosion isn’t addressed, it could lead to a train derailment.

This is the erosion the Pere Marquette Watershed Council continues to address. While progress has been slow, they recently paid to complete an engineering study on what appears to be the most viable solution: bringing in native field stone.

“That allowed us to get a handle on the scope of it, so now what we need to do is get into the detail of how many cubic yards of rock needs to be brought in, how do we negotiate access to the river, how to we place the rock,” said council member Paul Bigford.

The council hopes to have that work complete sooner rather than later. The DNR says the river is a critical part of the local economy, and keeping it safe is vital.

“The economy there is heavily based on the Pete Marquette River, so we want to do everything we can to protect that river and ensure that those fish will always be there for anglers and for river guides, and bait shops and the businesses that are based on that river,” said Fisheries Biologist Mark Tonello.

The council feels they’re moving in the right direction, but says they still need more help in making sure a worst case scenario doesn’t happen.

“We need to locate more partners, we need partners to kick in as much as the watershed council has, and we need to look at this as everyone’s problem. It certainly will affect everyone,” said Bigford.