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October 24, 2013
GROSSE POINTE SHORES — The accretion proviso pending the city council’s approval this month of Grosse Pointe Yacht Club harbor renovations developed from residents.

Some lakeside homeowners cited the renovations as an opportunity to redress accretion along the Lake St. Clair shoreline above and below the man-made peninsula on which the club and municipal marinas sit.

The homeowners said the peninsula interrupts shoreline currents, which cause suspended particles to drop out and anchor unwanted plants, rotting vegetation and washed-up fish.

To diminish the solid littoral barrier represented by marina breakwalls, perforations are often designed into the walls to allow a certain amount of current to flow through.

Municipal marinas in Grosse Pointe Park and City, plus the driveway to Crescent Sail Yacht Club in the Farms, have flow-throughs. They also lack accretion.

The Farms Pier Park and former Dodge family boat slip at the foot of Harbor Hill lack flow-throughs, and have accretion.

Flow-throughs were included during reconstruction a few years ago of the Shores municipal harbor at Osius Park.

Photographs taken during a period of low water of the outer half of the harbor’s north breakwall show a series of perforations.

Another, single flow-through below the base of the north wall appears in a construction drawing, but was not installed.

The flow-through, in the form of a roughly 4-foot-diameter metal pipe, was delivered to the Shores, according to a photograph of it at the park.

It was intended to connect the lake with the inner-most section of the marina.

Installation required cutting a hole in the park’s outer breakwall, digging a trench to the marina, laying the pipe and restoring landscaping, according to Mark Wollenweber, hired as Shores manager after the new harbor was installed.

“The decision was made at that time that the tube wouldn’t make much difference,” Wollenweber said. “It was going to be too expensive as part of the overall project. That’s what we found so far.”

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