Meeting held to keep Saginaw River safe - WNEM TV 5

Meeting held to keep Saginaw River safe

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BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

Keeping the most important river in Mid-Michigan safe and environmentally sound was the purpose of a big meeting in Bay County on Wednesday morning.

For years the Saginaw River has been the lifeblood of Mid-Michigan, a commerce thread vital to the region. First responders from the federal and local level were at a meeting Wednesday morning to talk about the river.

The U.S. Coast Guard hosted the meeting in Bay City. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave an update on keeping tabs on the environment of the waterway. The agencies involved in the meeting also work to keep the river safe from terrorist activities.

"We have a lot of ships coming in here and stuff and now we have foreign flag ships that are also coming in here so we basically want to keep track of security for the ships coming in and out to make sure it's safe for everybody involved both for commercial and recreational boaters," said Rick Loster, port security specialist.

The Saginaw River supports about 1,100 jobs and generates about $51 million a year in personal income.

"We are to keep maintaining these tie-ins here with the local communities to make sure we're all dealing with the same set of information and are on the same page so that if anything does happen untoward the area we'll all be prepared and we'll all know each other before that incident happens," Loster said.

The meeting was a carry-on from a committee started in 2011 to keep tabs on security and the environment of the Saginaw River. 

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