Page 8 - Mid America Boating - July 2021 issue
P. 8

Letter to                                                                  that was! What little it collected was then

                                                                                                                       released when it was uncoupled to change
                  Try                       Lipstick on a pig                                                          place because somebody was getting close
     ]     8                                the editor…                                                                out the empty barge for a full one, and you
                                                                                                                       could see them go out to put the boom in
                                                                                                                       to check on them.
     JULY 2021     [     MID-AMERICA BOATING
                                                                                                                         The other method is to suck the slurry
                     3                      Cleveland’s lakefront, it’s very impressive. (See  out of the barge with a big pipe which gets
                                              In case you haven’t seen the Cleveland Metroparks’ plans for 80 acres of new parkland along
                                                                                                                       all the stuff up onto land. The problem is
                                                                                                                       they have to back flush a lot of water to
                                                                                                                       clear the end of the pipe that gets clogged
                  for                       ing the off-loading of river sediment for the bike park at the end of Burke Lakefront airport  with logs and other debris, of which about
                                              Making the lakefront usable for recreational activities has been a long time coming.
                                              But fulfillment of the plan seems impossible with current methods. From years of watch-
                                                                                                                       60%, including the blockage debris, ends up
                                                                                                                       littering the channel like a mine field.
                                                                                                                       That’s so the operator doesn’t have to clear
                                            (onto land already at the run-way level), it’s clear we won’t be enjoying any cookouts at the
                                                                                                                       the same debris over and over again!
                                            new park in our lifetimes unless there is a major ramping up (no pun intended.) If the Corp
              free!                         pulls out all the dredging equipment in about a 10-state area it might complete the task in  the Sunday morning sailboat racers, or the
                                                                                                                         Here’s a business opportunity for one of
                                            less than 50 years.
                                                                                                                       fishermen that like to drift along the air-
                                              However, there is always a price for progress. Currently, the off-loading of the river muck,
                                                                                                                       port: Come up with a more efficient method
                                            with all its chemical and solid waste, creates an issue in the vicinity of the work for those
                                            enjoying the water. If efforts are increased without addressing the method, there won’t be
                                            any enjoying of fishing, swimming, sailing and just fooling around in the inner harbor for  for off-loading since the City of Cleveland
                                                                                                                       and the EPA don’t seem in control of the
                                            those of us that enjoy being on the water during this land reclamation.    problem. Keep in mind you’d be taking
           Get Mid-America Boating            I know the Corp has wanted to take the dredging out and dump it in the lake, which so  work away from the dredgers. As it stands
              delivered to you –            far has been outlawed by the EPA. As the saying goes, there’s more than one way to skin a  now, they are creating future work for them-
                                            cat. Instead of using a lot of fuel to push barges out into the lake to dump the noxious stuff  selves to dredge out all the muck and
           and the first three issues       they got somebody to pay for landfill for a bike park. Sounds really good unless you’ve seen  debris they are depositing into the naviga-
                   are on us!               firsthand how they do it. As my father’s would say – this is like putting lipstick on a pig.  tion channel.
                                            The Corp is as good as dumping the sludge directly into the lake.                            Robert Martien
                                              One method of extraction we call “the Dribble Method.” In the process of scooping out      Cleveland Hts., Ohio
                                            the muck from the barge with an excavator shovel, about 10% of the slurry dribbles out dur-
                     Go to                  ing the journey to the chute (located 180 degrees behind the barge). The dribble creates  Robert Martien ( enjoys boat-
             several acres of oily multi-colored putrid smelling scum if there isn’t rough weather to  ing on Lake Erie and remembers seeing the Hulett
                                            send it out to the lake. Most of the wet slurry makes it out of the barge and onto land where  shovels operating. He has seen the rise, fall, and
                                            the water is separated and sent to the lake.                               rebirth of the Cleveland Flats, as well as the ways to
                                              The separated water drains back into the lake from a large pipe. A couple of years ago  adjust for the rise and fall of the lake level, and does-
                                            after I complained to the EPA Water Div. in Twinsburg about the sludge being returned to  n’t want to see the lake go back to the way it was in
                                            the lake, they got the operators to clean out their filtering system, which lasted a couple  the 1960s.
                                            of months. And they made the operator put a boom out to collect the dribble. What a joke

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