Task force considers options for saving Lake Superior reef

Associated Press
The rock formation at Miners Castle stands out in Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore near Munising.

Lake Linden – A government task force is considering three ways to deal with mining waste rock that threatens to smother a natural reef in Lake Superior off the Keweenaw Peninsula.

The Buffalo Reef Task Force has scheduled a public meeting for July 31 in Lake Linden to discuss the options.

Waste rock called stamp sands were dumped into the lake during the copper mining era a century ago. Waves have slowly been carrying them toward the reef, a crucial spawning area for whitefish and lake trout near the mouth of Big Traverse River.

Federal, state and tribal agencies have narrowed a list of options to three. Each offers a different strategy for dredging and disposing of the stamp sands.

A detailed analysis of the options will begin this fall.