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Harbor Island

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Visioning Sessions held this spring! Explore the site to learn more about the concepts created. 

Revitalizing Harbor Island

Harbor Island has been used for industrial purposed and waste disposal for over 100 years. These operations have resulted in environmental impacts that the City of Grand Haven is addressing in cooperation with EGLE. The ultimate goal is creating a plan to mitigate the health and environmental risks on Harbor Island.

Harbor Island Visioning

Community members from across Grand Haven helped to develop three draft concepts for Harbor Island.  Use the arrows to scroll through the three concepts created after Day 2 of public feedback. These concepts are just the beginning of the conversation. Please let us know your thoughts on these concepts through this survey

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Use the arrows to scroll through the timeline. The timeline helps keep the public aware of the work being done on the island. The timeline is subject to agency response, funding and other factors, and will be updated as information is available. Click here for the complete timeline image in full.


  • Research Winter 2021

    Review data and develop workplan to submit to EGLE.

  • Approval Summer 2022

    Approval of workplan and well network by EGLE.

  • Stand Ready Summer 2022 - Fall 2022

    Prepare to initiate background monitoring - Wetlands Permit needed from EGLE to proceed.

  • Drilling Fall 2022 - Winter 2023

    Some CCR Compliance wells were placed when Simms plant closed. Additional CCR and PFAS exploratory boreholes and sampling must be completed once EGLE approves a wetlands permit to allow for drilling

  • Background Monitoring Fall 2022 - Winter 2024

    Over the course of 10-12 months, testing is required every 5 weeks. Eight sample events are required to meet compliance. This process establishes site-specific background values.

  • Alternatives Development Winter 2023 - Summer 2024

    Agency coordination and approval will drive this process to completion. At this stage, initial CCR and PFAS data will be available to begin develop remediation alternatives discussions.

    While analyzing remediation alternatives, engagement with the public will start through visioning sessions and activities.

  • Remedy Selection Summer 2026 - Beyond

    Following alternatives analysis and agency coordination, remediation can begin. Remedial alternatives chosen will attempt to address both PFAS and CCR issues.

  • Redevelopment Planning 2026 - 2028

    After remediation plans are in place to meet compliance, or compliance met, development can begin.

  • Redevelopment 2028 - 2033

    Development plans can now be implemented.

Key Abbreviations

  • CCR: Coal Combustion Residuals
  • PFAS: Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances
  • Timeline-Green-Tick-Icon.svgPhase complete
  • Timeline-Yellow-Star-Icon.svgCurrent Phase

CCR Compliance requires semi-annual monitoring and reporting throughout the duration of the project, during remediation, and years after remediation is complete.

PFAS work requires detection of chemicals, investigation, remediation and close-out.

Last Updated: February 15, 2024

Harbor Island

Harbor Island is home to the former JB Simms site as well as wetlands, a boat launch, walking path, outdoor event venue, and soccer fields. Explore the map to learn more about the island's features.

Key Features

  • Former JB Sims Plant

    The JB Simms Plant closed in 2020.
  • Impoundments

    The impoundments served to manage the coal combustion residuals.
  • Wetlands

    Harbor Island is home to wetlands that draw a variety of birds and other wildlife.

PFAS Research

As part of the environmental investigation of the former JB Sims power plant, PFAS constituents were detected. In early 2022, the City’s environmental consultants began preparing a Work Plan to investigate PFAS at the former plant.

The City is working closely with EGLE on a holistic approach to cleanup Harbor Island.  The City also is exploring potential future uses for the island once its environmental problems are remediated. The City continues to seek community input as this process moves along the timeline.

Renew Harbor Island ~ Work today, protect tomorrow

Harbor Island - Work Today, Protect Tomorrow

A mile upstream from Grand Haven’s stunning Lake Michigan shoreline sits Harbor Island, a once-industrial site where PFAS & CCR coexist. The City is working alongside experts on an in-depth environmental study to identify the extent of contamination and create a plan to address health & environmental risks. Watch the video to learn more about this work.

The ultimate goal is creating a plan to mitigate the health and environmental risks on Harbor Island.

Featured Documents

Spotlight Document

2024 First Quarter Groundwater Monitoring and Corrective Action Report
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Spotlight Document

2022 Harbor Island Work Plan for CCR Compliance
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Spotlight Document

2023 Annual Inspection Report – Unit 3A/B Impoundments
Read More