According to the Grand River Dam Authority, a comprehensive effort to not only replace, but also upgrade lighthouse navigational aids around the shores of Grand Lake, is moving forward.

Because many of Grand’s lighthouses have been damaged, destroyed or even dislocated during high water events in recent years, GRDA is working to replace them with a new design, better suited to endure water and weather conditions in the future.

These new Sealite buoys, which are brightly colored for daytime visibility, will also be kept in place by 5,000-pound sea anchors to accommodate fluctuations in water levels.

“We feel like these new buoys will be an upgrade from the older lighthouses used in the past,” said GRDA Community Relations Officer Ed Ferguson. “It is a large project and we’ve had some unanticipated delays, but we appreciate the lake community’s cooperation as we continue to move forward.”

Ferguson added that the new buoys are also designed to provide radar signature for radar-equipped vessels and are equipped with five-mile LED beacons. Depending on the hazard, those beacons will be a different color. 

  • A red flashing light will indicate a dangerous area for boaters to avoid.
  • A yellow flashing light will mark a hazard area.
  • A white flashing light will serve as a navigation control signal.

“We are committed to providing these new navigational devices to warn of potentially hazardous areas on the lake,” said Ferguson. “However we do want to remind boaters that the new devices should not be relied on as their sole navigational aids. We encourage them to use all the tools at their disposal to help.”

Currently, GRDA is working to install ten new buoys at various locations around Grand Lake. That effort is expected to last into September. A project to replace other existing land-based lighthouses with pole-mounted lights is also planned for the near future.