Sand Point

The Sand Point site is KBIC Tribal Trust property, wholly owned by KBIC and located entirely within the KBIC L'Anse Reservation boundaries. Sand Point totals several hundred acres in size.  The Site itself consists of an extensive beach area, approximately 45 acres in size, with approximately 2.5 miles of lake front, located on the west side of Keweenaw Bay of Lake Superior.  This property has great potential for recreational development, but prior to cleanup consisted of a bare, sparsely vegetated wasteland.

The Sand Point site is impacted by industrial copper mining processing waste (stamp sands) from the Mass Mill, an early 20th century copper ore processing plant that was located approximately 4 miles north of Sand Point.  During copper ore processing at the Mass Mill, billions of pounds of stamp sand waste was deposited into Keweenaw Bay.  Lake currents have since carried these stamp sands southward and deposited them onto the 2.5 miles of the Community's property at Sand Point. Some of the problems created by the stamp sand deposits include high concentrations of heavy metals; copper, mercury, and arsenic contamination in the groundwater, surface water, and sediments; deficiencies of major nutrients and near toxic levels of copper and iron concentration exist in the plant vegetation.  High concentrations of copper, mercury and arsenic have also been found in fish samples.

With help from the U.S. EPA, the Great Lakes Commission - Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Program, USDA - National Resource Conservation Service, and Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council, a soil cover was constructed over approximately 35 acres of stamp sands at Sand Point, a tribally owned beach area along the western shore of Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay. The soil cover will serve to decrease contaminant loading into Keweenaw Bay by reducing stamp sand erosion, increase biodiversity, and allow for vegetation growth on a previously barren landscape. Remediation efforts continue at Sand Point.