U.S. Rep. Fred Upton is supporting legislation that would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to consider recreational boaters with its harbor maintenance projects.
Upton, who represents Michigan’s sixth district, said the Safer Harbors for Our Recreational Economy Act would direct the engineers to consider the economic benefits of recreational boating when the agency allocates funding.
“Obviously, we have this flooding issue now with our rivers, but it will give, in essence, added significance to our recreational harbors and what they mean to our lake communities,” Upton said in a statement. “I know a number of our marinas are looking at month to month rentals for the boats that are there versus what would otherwise be for the whole season. So our boat owners could be in for a whole lot of trouble if these water levels continue to go up.”
Upton said harbors in New Buffalo, South Haven and Saugatuck stand to benefit if the Corps of Engineers puts more emphasis on protecting recreational boating.