LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, issued the following statement on Thursday after Gov. Rick Snyder announced the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) would be implementing an emergency rule prohibiting the deployment of anchors in the Straits of Mackinac:
“Many in my district and throughout the state were sorely disappointed in the recent incident that resulted in severed electric cables and dents to the infamous Line 5 pipeline.
“I was pleased to hear Gov. Rick Snyder and the DNR will be pursuing an emergency ruling to temporarily mandate a no-anchor zone in the Straits.
“Previous studies have shown us that anchoring in this area has the potential to cause severe environmental damage and disrupt energy and communication services between the Upper and Lower peninsulas. The U.S. Coast Guard has advised vessels against deploying anchors in the area, though before today’s announcement, no formal rule prohibited them from doing so.
“The eastern boundary of the no-anchor zone is defined by the Mackinac Bridge. The western boundary is defined by a line beginning at the western edge of McGulpin Point in the Lower Peninsula to the western edge of an unnamed island immediately southwest of Point La Barbe in the Upper Peninsula.
“The emergency rule will remain in place for six months, with the option of an additional six-month renewal. Discussions with the U.S. Coast Guard on a permanent ruling are ongoing.
“Michigan is home to some of the most beautiful natural resources in the world. While I am thankful that no harm was done to the environment, we must ensure that an incident like the one in early April never happens again. I am happy to see the DNR acting to prohibit this from happening again by instituting this emergency ruling.
“I’d like to thank all stakeholders involved in these conversations for putting our state’s residents and our environment first. I look forward to additional discussions on how we can continue to keep our Great Lakes safe.”