$400K being spent to fight muck mess along Lake St. Clair in Macomb County

Lyngbya is a thick grassy aquatic growth that terrorized Michigan’s storied shoreline about a decade ago

A new and smelly aquatic vegetation is taking over Lake St. Clair, and there’s a move afoot to figure out what’s happening.

The water is so beautiful, and so many cannot wait to get out here. But the stinky, smelly much that clogs boat engines and sends people fleeing the waterfront is becoming a serious problem, and now Macomb County and the army corps of engineers want to do something about it.

The name Lyngbya is as unappealing as it looks. It’s a thick grassy aquatic growth that terrorized Michigan’s storied shoreline about a decade ago.

“Year to year, it becomes higher and higher and higher,” said Macomb County Commissioner Barbara Zinner.

Zinner’s heard a lot of complaints.

“People come here for the water, they love the water, and you can be 200 feet out, and the Lynbya has changed their lifestyle because they can’t go in the water,” Zinner said.

Anglers are discovering their favorite fishing holes are disappearing, and living on the beach often requires more raking than swimming, and the problem’s only gotten worse over the years.

Going from a nuisance to a significant problem spurred putting serious money into figuring out the problem and what to do about it.

Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller announced Tuesday (March 21) that Macomb County and the Army Corps of Engineers have agreed to spend $200,000 each to begin a study into the mucky mess.

“We’re not sure what exactly is causing it, what it’s comprised of, whether it’s toxic or not, but it really is wreaking havoc along the shoreline in lake St. Clair,” said Miller.

Zinner says she’s married to one angry angler.

“It’s not right,” Zinner said. “We don’t know whether it’s healthy or not. We want what’s best for our citizens. That’s just family.”

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.