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A fishing boat heading into Platte Bay.

Platte River Mouth Restoration and Access Plan

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore » Platte River Mouth Restoration and Access Plan » Document List

Update 1/16/2017: The public review period for this EA closed on January 15, 2017.

A public informational meeting has also been scheduled for December 7, 2016. Click "Meeting Notices" for more information.

The National Park Service (NPS) has prepared a Platte River Mouth Restoration and Access Plan / Environmental Assessment (EA).

The Platte River is located in the southern portion of the National Lakeshore and discharges into Lake Michigan. Benzie County owns and manages a recreational boat launch at Platte River Point, approximately 900 feet from the river mouth, at the end of Lake Michigan Road. It is most heavily used in the fall by salmon fishermen to get their boats into Platte Bay and greater Lake Michigan. Dredging between the boat launch and river mouth has been performed regularly since 1968 by the NPS or the State. Dredging has typically occurred after Labor Day, primarily at the sand bars at the river mouth. In 2013, budget constraints led the NPS to stop dredging, and the State of Michigan dredged that year instead. Due to high lake levels and economic constraints, dredging has not occurred since then. A large quantity of stockpiled dredge spoils (sand and gravel removed from the river) is located near the mouth of the river, on the eastern side. Dredging of the river and continued deposition of spoils on the shore causes negative environmental impacts.

The 2009 General Management Plan for the park (GMP), says the NPS will provide Lake Michigan boat access within a designated "high use zone " at the mouth of the Platte River that would allow for "boat ramps or docks." The GMP also says a "separate environmental impact statement would be needed to determine whether there may be alternatives for providing this access in a way that lessens impacts to resources and visitors' experiences" and that "cessation of dredging would likely be a component of one or more of these alternatives."

Two preliminary studies have since been completed to evaluate access alternatives and river bank restoration. A public scoping period was held between October 1-November 15, 2015. A public scoping analysis report is available. Click "Document List" on the left, and then select "Public Scoping Analysis Report" and download the file at the bottom of the page.

Contact Information

Kevin Skerl