The impact of low lake levels on marina owners across Huron County could translate into lost revenue approaching $1 million in 2013. With over 1000 slips available on the Huron shoreline from Sebewaing to Harbor Beach there is significant questions if larger boats will be able to access these marinas and harbors. Sailboats and watercraft with a waterline length above 25 feet typically have larger below water line draft. Sailboats in this range typically range from four to eight feet of draft and require deeper water in order to maneuver.
Real Dollars at Stake
An analysis was conducted of the direct impact to Huron County marinas and harbors if water levels prevent these larger boats from being able to be placed into a slip and if large transient boaters are unable to come into harbors. This problem is particularly acute at Caseville, Bay Port and Port Austin. If 30% of the seasonal boaters are unable to get into their slip, direct losses could approach $600,000 in 2013. Couple this with the inability for transient boater to come into port during the season that the amount soars close to $1,000,000.
This loss is only for slip fees. Loses would also be felt in fuel, food, hardware, restaurants and other opportunities that the local community typically fills.