A familiar site to anyone who has been through the heart of Manistique. Sam Eggleston
A view upstream from near the mouth of the Manistique River. Sam Eggleston
The lumber industry and the Manistique River have a shared history in the area. Sam Eggleston
This building speaks of a time long past in Manistique. Sam Eggleston
Water and ice mix as spring arrives on the Manistique River. Sam Eggleston
Rocks show themselves after a winter of being encased in Manistique River ice. Sam Eggleston
A view of one of the shorelines along the Manistique River. Sam Eggleston
A tower stands tall over the Manistique River in the heart of the city. Sam Eggleston
This building has stood next to the Manistique River for generations. Sam Eggleston
A view under one of the Manistique River bridges. Sam Eggleston
Water swirls near the mouth of the Manistique River. Sam Eggleston
A drive through just about any part of the Upper Peninsula will quickly show a visitor why the region and logging have such a history together.
Forests stretch as far as they eye can see, and lumber from the U.P. has historically been a key industry for the people who have come here to live in the northwoods.
Manistique is in the heart of the U.P., and its history is intertwined with the logs that have been harvested here. Today, lumber is still produced in the city, as is paper at a local paper mill.
The Manistique River snakes through the entirety of Manistique. Wood pulp and sawdust from logging-related industrial operations, as well as other contaminants tied to those operations, earned the river a spot on the toxic Areas of Concern list.
But efforts to clean the river have gone well, and only restrictions on the consumption of fish and wildlife from the river and restrictions on dredging still remain in place. As of 2009, three other restrictions have been lifted, including beach closings and swimming restrictions that have helped return the city of Manistique into a destination for locals and tourists alike.
The efforts continue in hopes of getting the final two restrictions lifted, and it is hoped that a full delisting will be approved in the next few years.
Already the city has embraced its renewed river, having built a boardwalk to help show off the Lake Michigan shoreline. Local businesses are setting up shop along the river and near it.
There is a future for the Manistique River, and being delisted as an Area of Concern in first and foremost on the list.
Sam Eggleston is a freelance writer and editor based in the Upper Peninsula.
This series about restoration in Michigan's Areas of Concern is made possible through support from the Michigan Office of Great Lakes through Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.