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While the evaluated benefits are below unity the intangible benefits from the proposed improvement to the safety and convenience of vessels and human lives fully warrants the Federal expenditures.
Mr. LARCADE. Thank you.
Mr. JONES. I have one question. In the cost factors, did you take into account if the project were realized discontinuance of the life station of the Coast Guard ?
Colonel MOORE. No; that was not taken into account. I believe I am correct in saying that the danger along that portion of the shore of Lake Superior is so great that there is little likelihood of the Coast Guard station being abandoned.
Mr. JONES. The Coast Guard would maintain their present station even if this project were carried out?
Colonel MOORE. There is an 89-mile reach there with no adequate refuge in time of storm.
Mr. DONDERO. We have drifted from the slumberous south of St. Petersburg to the invigorating north of Lake Superior.
Colonel MOORE. I might say in that connection that the number of small powered vessels of less than 16 gross tons—that does not include outboards which do not have to register-has increased on the Great Lakes from 18,900 in 1920 to 88,516 in 1947, a growth of 460 percent.
Mr. LARCADE. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF HON. CHARLES E. POTTER, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MICHIGAN
Mr. POTTER. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the courtesy that you have extended not only to myself but to other Members and interested people, people who are vitally interested in this project.
I would like to state, referring to the colonel's remarks, that the shore line on Lake Superior is of rocky chalk formation and Grand Marais
is the only harbor of refuge between Munising and Whitefish Bay. This harbor is extremely important because of this cliff rock formation along the coast. There is no refuge along that whole area where a boat can run upon the beach at any place, to say nothing of receiving any protection.
Mr. DONDERO. This is the only harbor on the coast in about 90 miles? Mr. POTTER. That is right.
The report of the Chief of Engineers in House Document 751, Eightieth Congress, second session, on Grand Marais Harbor, sets forth complete and concise information on this harbor project, and the need for improvements recommended, that is, to provide for extending the west entrance pier lakeward a distance of 800 feet in accordance with plan D of the district engineer, with such modifications as in the discretion of the Secretary of War and the Chief of Engineers may be advisable. At an estimated cost of $398,000 for-
Nr. DONDERO. May I suggest to our colleague that if he would like to make a statement of what he knows personally about the harbor, do that and put your statement in the record and save time.
Mr. POTTER. Thank you, Mr. Dondero.
As was mentioned before, this is the only harbor of refuge for a distance of 90 miles. During the past 31 years, 18 vessels have been
wrecked or stranded during storms near or between Grand Marais Harbor and Whitefish Point and 48 men have lost their lives.
Grand Marais was mentioned previously as a fishing village. I might mention to the committee I can think of no better place for the committee to make a trip to inspect one of their projects than Grand Marais, particularly during the month of August or July.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. You speak as if from experience.
Mr. POTTER. That is right, and I think that my colleague, Congressman Hoffman, will verify that. We are very proud of our deep-sea fishing
Mr. DONDERO. I am sure that no suggestion was ever made to this committee that was received with greater interest than this one.
Mr. POTTER. This harbor serves in the main as a base and storm refuge for commercial fishing and recreational craft.
In 1944, Grand Marais was third largest port in the production of commercial fish on the Great Lakes. We will no doubt have an increase there of recreational and fishing craft operating out of that harbor if improvements are made.
Mr. DONDERO. Is it true that nothing has been done in 45 years?
Mr. POTTER. Absolutely correct; nothing has been done on the harbor since 1904.
Mr. LARCADE. Are there any questions by any member of the committee?
Mr. FORD. What kind of vessels have been wrecked in that area?
Mr. POTTER. Small craft and fishing vessels, normally. We have also had some of our freighters wrecked up in that area.
Mr. Ford. Ore boats going to and from Lake Superior?
I cannot urge too strongly to members of this committee that they act favorably on the recommendation of the Corps of Engineers on this project. One of the primary considerations should be the safety to the personnel and small craft operators who have to operate out of this harbor.
Now I do not want to take any more time of the committee and we have Congressman Hoffman who has another committee meeting this morning. He would like to appear next and then we will have Judge Wood from Grand Marais.
Mr. LARCADE. Thank you very much much, Congressman.
STATE OF MICHIGAN,
Lansing 13, April 28, 1949. Hon. CHARLES E, POTTER,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN POTTER: I am informed that there is under advisement an authorization for an improvement project in the Grand Marais Harbor.
As you know, we have several fishing boats on the Great Lakes and we use this harbor frequently. It would be very useful to us if such an improvement were to be forthcoming. With every good wish. Very sincerely,
P. J. HOFFMASTER, Director.
DETROIT & CLEVELAND NAVIGATION, Co.,
Detroit 26, Mich., April 29, 1949. Hon. CHARLES POTTER,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN: As you know, our company is the largest passenger line on the Great Lakes, and since my affiliation with the Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Co., I feel that the future of the Great Lakes for all type of crafts both for pleasure and commerce is unlimited.
We are planning to convert and construct new ships for passenger and package freight which will enable us to operate on the Great Lakes, including Lake Superior.
Our company wishes to add its support and endorsement for your consideration of the Grand Marais (Mich.) Harbor improvement project. now before the subcommittee of the Committee on Public Works. Sincerely yours,
DETROIT & CLEVELAND NAVIGATION Co.,
President and General Manager.
CHICAGO, DULUTH & GEORGIAN BAY TRANSIT Co.,
Detroit 26, Mich., April 22, 1949. Hon. CHARLES E. POTTER,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: We should like to add our support to the Grand Marais (Mich.) Harbor improvement project.
This company operates cruise ships steamship North American and steamship South American and a regular schedule is maintained into Lake Superior ports, traversing the entire length of Lake Superior to Duluth Harbor. We carry no cargo but are exclusively passenger, and harbors of refuge are decidedly important for the safety of our passengers. An additional harbor refuge at Grand Marais will be an additional safety factor in our schedule in Lake Superior.
We are heartily in favor of your proposal and we are certain that the thousands of passengers that we carry will appreciate the additional safety factor involved for their protection. Respectfully yours,
E. J. GOEBEL, Executive Vice President.
STATEMENT OF CHARLES E. POTTER, MEMBER OF CONGRESS, FROM ELEVENTH DIsTRICT OF MICHIGAN, ON BEHALF OF GRAND MARAIS HARBOR PROJECT, MAY 4, 1949
House Document No. 751, Eightieth Congress, second session, being the report of the Chief of Engineers, on the Grand Marais Harbor, Mich., sets forth complete and concise information on this harbor project and the need for the improvements recommended; namely, to provide for extending the existing west-entrance pier lakeward a distance of 800 feet, in accordance with plan D of the district engineer with such modifications as in the discretion of the Secretary of War and the Chief of Engineers may be advisable, at an estimated cost of $398,000 for new work, with no increase in the estimated annual cost of maintenance.
The last new work on this harbor was accomplished in 1904. Maintenance of the present entrance channel is difficult as sand passes around the outer end of the west pier, shoals the channel between the piers and forms an outer bar. Under present conditions it is not only impossible for large boats to enter Grand Marais Harbor—the only harbor of refuge between Whitefish Bay and Munising, a distance of 89 miles during stormy weather but it is unsafe and most harzardous for the fishing and pleasure craft which use this harbor. During the past 31 years, 18 vessels were wrecked or stranded during storms near and between Grand Marais Harbor and Whitefish Point and 48 men lost their lives. It is a matter of record that these boats unable to enter Grand Marais Harbor, during a storm, were compelled to return to Whitefish Point, 49 miles distant and consequently the resultant loss in lives and ships.
While Grand Marais is primarily a fishing village, in the summer it is a recreational haven for tourists-recreational fishing, and particularly deep-sea trolling, is increasing in popularity. This harbor serves in the main as a base and a storm refuge for commercial fishing and recreational craft. In 1944 Grand
Marais was the third largest port in the production of commercial fish on the Great Lakes. Improvement of the entrance conditions can be expected to increase the number of commercial fishing boats based at Grand Marais as well as recreational craft. It was revealed at the hearing December 5, 1945, that numerous inquiries had been received by local officials from cement, lumber, and coal companies regarding the harbor entrance and depth of water which is an indication that this type commerce could be developed once the improvements recommended by the Chief of Engineers have been made. Recreational boat traffic is expected to increase on Lake Superior (a beautiful but most unpredictable body of water) once the chain of light-draft harbors of refuge authorized by the River and Harbor Act of March 2, 1945, have been established and so in the future, Grand Marais Harbor will grow in importance.
I cannot urge too strongly that your committee, gentlemen, include the Grand Marais Harbor project in the rivers and harbors omnibus authorization bill now being prepared. The future safety of the vessels, and its men, traversing this harbor, as well as the future development of the village of Grand Marais, is dependent upon authorization of the project, as recommended by the Chief of Engineers.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington D. C., May 24, 1949. Hon. WILLIAM M. WHITTINGTON,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR COLLEAGUE: I wish to join with Congressman Potter in strongly urging the approval of an extension of the west pier 800 feet lakeward, deepening of the channel at Grand Marais, Mich. Grand Marais Harbor is the only port of refuge between Munising and Whitefish Point, a rugged coast line expanse of 75 miles.
In recent years 12 commercial fishermen and 43 interlake seamen, all breadwinners, lost their lives because of the inadequacy of the Grand Marais Harbor entrance. They have left many widows and orphans at Grand Marais. This information is all a matter of record with the Army Corps of Engineers, and as I understand it, the War Department has recommended and approved this project.
We in Michigan have read of these disasters, and I wish to assure you that everyone is earnestly hoping that this much-needed project will be approved by your committee.
I would deeply appreciate having an expression from you as to the attitude of the committee on this much-needed improvement. Sincerely yours,
GEORGE G. SADOWSKI, M. C.
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,
Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., April 22, 1949. Hon. WILLIAM M. WHITTINGTON,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR CONGRESSMAN: It has been drawn to my attention that Congressman Potter of Michigan has introduced a bill, and hearings on same have been set for May 4, that the Corps of Engineers make improvements by an' extension of the west pier at Grand Marais, Mich.
We who live up here call this the graveyard of the Great Lakes, and any assistance you can give will be appreciated by all of us up here and also by the many sailors who sail the Great Lakes. Thanking you in advance, I am, Yours very truly,
JOHN R. MERRIFIELD,
STATEMENT OF HON. CLARE E. HOFFMAN, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MIGHIGAN
Mr. HOFFMAN. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, you may have a justifiable curiosity as to why a Representative of a district including Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, South Haven, and Saugatuck would be appearing here. But I am personally familiar with the
Grand Marais situation and want to endorse the statement of Colonel Moore which accurately presents the picture, not quite all of it, however. I have been familiar, during the last 32 years, with the situation
The map fails to show the traffic lanes running from the Soo across the lake up to the harbors in the north, the ore boats passing from the north through the Soo, going around Whitefish Point, swing in sometimes within 8 miles, sometimes 6 in calm weather, of this harbor. Of course, they try to keep out during stormy weather. Nevertheless, sometimes they are crowded down there and this harbor is the only refuge.
The witness was talking about the wrecks and the class of vessels. I think Mr. Ford asked the question. It is quite true that some of the fishing boats have been wrecked there. I happened to be present when the Lydia went down at the entrance to the harbor with a loss of five lives and the boat, not a great loss as losses are generally considered, but nevertheless of some importance to those who were involved. I recall some years ago—perhaps 20 years ago—when I saw five wrecks on this shore at one time between Lonesome Point, which is a mile to the southeast of the harbor entrance, less than a mile to the east end of the outlet of Au Sable Lake, which is less than a mile and a half to the west. I say there were five wrecks there at that particular time. I do not know what the boats were other than that they were commercial boats. I do recall.when west of Whitefish Point in a snowstorm because a very large boat could not make this harbor it was wrecked on the shore 4 or 5 miles east of the entrance. All on board were lost.
I can recall that within the last 4 or 5 years, just around Au Sable Point, perhaps a mile or so, there was a large cargo vessel wrecked that I was curious enough to go up to see-it was carrying automobiles and flaxseed. That was a very, very large boat.
While they cannot perhaps justify the expenditure on the ground of the local fishing boats and tourists, people who come in there in the summer and do deep sea trolling, there is no question, at least in my mind, and, I think, in the minds of everyone who are familiar with the situation, the work is justified as insurance against the wrecking not only of ore boats but of all these freight carriers, and you are familiar with the traffic that goes through the Soo, all these carriers and big boats that go along from here to here [indicating] just outside, they are passing at all times during the season, there is hardly an hour that you could not go down there and see boats going by. .
A big excursion boat, the North or South America, carrying hundreds of passengers, makes that trip often. You
can see the lights of it at night. It is but a short distance offshore. The proposed work is a matter of insurance to commerce and life. There should be no question about the necessity of that.
Mr. ANGELL. Mr. Chairman, may I ask our colleague a question? If this improvement were made, would it obviate the difficulty that you have been having there and tend to prevent such disasters?
Mr. HOFFMAN. The bay is named, as the Colonel has said, the Harbor of Refuge. It is just that, absolutely. What are you going to do with all that traffic coming down through the lake. It is like a plane in the air without an airfield; no place for them to stop except at Grand Marais.