Saxon Harbor Gets Recovery Aid after Devastating Summer Storm

Coastal program support will make marina safer and stronger and improve beach access.

In July 2016 a deadly torrential rain in northwestern Wisconsin devastated Lake Superior’s Saxon Harbor marina and campground, beached 19 boats, and washed out nearby roads, ultimately causing more than $26 million in damage spanning eight counties. Recent grants from the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program are bringing needed marina repairs and improved beach access.

These improvements are part of a multimillion-dollar federal and state effort to rebuild roads and a nearby bridge, reconstruct piers, and deepen federal harbor channels. The initiative will strengthen storm-resilience and help safeguard the local economy. Saxon Harbor averages 2,000 visitors on weekends during the peak summer season, making it an important economic engine in this largely rural area.

Newly acquired land also will expand public access to 112 acres of forest along Saxon Harbor that includes 1,385 feet of Lake Superior shoreline. This area features wooded ravines and migratory bird stopover habitat. Iron County recently purchased this acreage with the aid of a NOAA Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program grant supported through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. (2018)

Partners: Federal Emergency Management Agency, Iron County, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Wisconsin’s Emergency Management Agency, Department of Transportation, and Department Of Administration’s Coastal Management Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.