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Ribbon-cutting today for Clinton River Cut-off Boating Access Site improvements

A Thursday afternoon ribbon-cutting ceremony will officially mark the culmination of an enhancement project at the Clinton River Cut-off Boating Access Site – one of the largest boating access sites in Michigan – on Lake St. Clair.

The media, community members and other stakeholders are invited to celebrate the project’s benefits to recreational boaters and the waterway. The ribbon-cutting will take place today at 3:30 p.m. at 36110 Jefferson Ave. in Harrison Township, Macomb County.

A 2018 study determined that Lyngbya wollei, a fast-growing algae that thrives in 5-12 feet of water, was creating dangerous algae mats more than 3 inches deep each year. The 11-foot average depth of Lake St. Clair, combined with water current patterns, turned the launch location into an algae trap and made the problem even worse. To combat the issue, dredging of the launch basin was required several times per season, leading to frequent closures of the site.

The study identified a proposed solution to relocate the boat launch south to the inactive Admiral Marine Basin. The key advantage of the new location is its existing channel entrance configuration, reducing impacts from algae accumulation, as well as offering additional parking and improved traffic flow. This option also significantly minimizes maintenance dredging and closures.

"Ongoing dredging was neither cost-effective nor sustainable," said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division. "The study gave us an opportunity to think differently about the future of the Clinton River Cut-off Boating Access Site and its surroundings, and we're excited to celebrate seven years of planning at this event today."

The new site includes:

  • A 200-space parking lot (166 trailer- and 34 car-only spaces) that more than doubles the parking capacity of the previous lot. The lot design also improves maneuverability for vehicles.
  • A concrete boat launch that includes three new skid piers and six lanes.
  • A carry-down launch for kayakers, paddle boarders and canoers.

"Seeing this investment in boating and our fresh waters in southeast Michigan is exciting," said Candice S. Miller, Michigan State Waterways and Macomb County Public Works commissioner. "Access to this wonderful lake is very important, and that’s particularly true in an area like Macomb County, where there are so many small-trailered boats. We must do everything we can to provide access to the lake for everyone because it’s such a beautiful natural resource that includes some of the best freshwater fishing in the world."

For more information, contact Scott Pratt, chief of southern field operations for the DNR Parks and Recreation Division, at 517-897-0219 or Duane Askew, Mt. Clemens Field Office unit supervisor for the DNR Parks and Recreation Division, at 586-615-4595.

Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download.