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Project underway in Gay to hinder spread of stamp sands into Lake Superior

(WLUC)
Published: Nov. 26, 2019 at 6:04 PM EST
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The stamp sand removal project in Gay has been running for the past ten days.

Crews are removing massive amounts of stamp sands and moving them further inland to keep them from continuing to spread into Lake Superior.

"Right now that pile is actively eroding into Lake Superior, so the idea is to pull back the face of that pile and make more of a beach like slope so it will stop falling into the lake," said Jay Parent, District Supervisor for the Michigan Department of Great Lakes Energy, Water Division.

Stamp sands are a byproduct of the areas mining days and cause an extensive amount of ecological damage to Lake Superior’s fishery.

"Right now the problem is that it's drifting into Lake Superior. It's going down the shoreline into the harbor, and over Buffalo Reef, which is lake trout and whitefish spawning grounds," added Parent.

An archaeologist is also present on the project to oversee proper handling of any artifacts that may be present on site and left over from the mines.

"They keep their eyes out to see if they can find anything, and as the archaeologist, I'm also out here watching as they're digging so that if they come across something, we can preserve and document it," said Kyle Parker, Cultural Resource Manager on the project.

While the work being done will help the stamp sand problem in the area, the project is not a permanent solution.

"This is just a band-aid for the situation to try and stop it from getting worse. The Buffalo Reef Task Force has been working on finding alternative solutions to tackle this problem site wide and the process is ongoing," said Parent.