DNR seeks public input on final design for Eagle Harbor State Harbor in Keweenaw County

Contact: Bob Wild, (Eagle Harbor State Harbor supervisor) 906-289-4215 or Eric Cadeau (regional field planner) 906-353-6651
Agency: Natural Resources

March 5, 2021

Public comment period open through March 19

A 15-day, public comment period was opened today by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources on a recommended design concept for improving the mooring facilities at Eagle Harbor State Harbor. 

In August 2019, the DNR held an open house to showcase three development concepts being considered to replace infrastructure at the state harbor at Eagle Harbor. Major improvements at the site have been minimal since 1976.

Eagle Harbor, a designated harbor of refuge, is situated off M-26, between Eagle River and Copper Harbor, and features three transient, and three seasonal broad-side, slips with available electric and water utilities. The harbor also includes public restrooms, showers and a popular boating access site on Lake Superior.

"This planning and design effort is taking place in response to the aging infrastructure at the harbor," said Eric Cadeau, an Upper Peninsula regional field planner with the DNR's Parks and Recreation Division. "The study of options and review of public comments have provided key insights to the community's preferences in the development of infrastructure improvements."


To reach the design recommendation for harbor improvements, an engineering study evaluated three potential options for development.

The cost to study those options totaled about $95,000, supported by the state's Waterways Program Fund, which is a restricted fund derived from boat registration fees and Michigan marine fuel tax for the construction, operation and maintenance of public recreational boating facilities.

Public comments from the DNR's August 2019 open house provided additional input.

After reviewing this information, the local DNR project team made a recommendation to the DNR Parks and Recreation Division administration, and the project was approved, with $1 million allocated from the capital project budget for the harbor improvements, which was supported by the Michigan State Waterways Commission.

Total planning, design and construction costs are estimated at roughly $1.6 million, which is being funded through the Michigan State Waterways Fund, with additional money provided through a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Boating Infrastructure Grant Program.

The DNR consulted with Eagle Harbor Township officials to confirm support for the recommended development option for the harbor.

Additional input is now being solicited from the general public through the 15-day public comment period, which expires March 19. To submit your comments, send email to CadeauE@michigan.gov.

"We encourage boaters, day users and the community to participate, along with the public at large in this second public input session to help shape future development of the harbor," said Bob Wild, unit supervisor for Fort Wilkins Historic State Park and Eagle Harbor State Harbor. "We are eager for members of the public to share their concerns, confirmations or other comments on the recommended development option."


Features of the recommended development option include:

  • Rehabilitation of existing broadside docks to include new fenders and water and electric (20/30/50 amp) utilities for transient boaters.
  • A new section of seawall with fixed finger piers, including water and electric (20/30/50 amp) utilities and gravel parking for seasonal boaters.
  • Dredging to support navigational depths.
  • Rehabilitation of existing harbor comfort station, including aesthetic upgrades, accessible restrooms and a new drain field.
  • Accessible sidewalks, parking and finger pier or piers.
  • Existing gravel roads and turf parking will be maintained.
  • Targeted shoreline armoring.

Those who would like to review the recommended development concept and contribute comments can visit the DNR's public comment request page.

Design of the improvements will continue throughout the rest of the year, with construction planned for 2022.

For more information on boating in Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/Boating.

/Note to editors: An accompanying photo is available below for download. A suggested caption follows. Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, unless otherwise noted.

Harbor: This image shows some of the infrastructure at the Eagle Harbor State Harbor in Keweenaw County./