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St. Clair Flats Association
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News & Comments

A brief roundup of news and updates for HISCFA members.  Your comments are welcomed but if you have any questions it's best to email one of the board members for a more timely response.

  • March 02, 2022 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    With warmer weather approaching and recent ferry closures, it's a good time to remind Islanders to enroll in the free Warning Information Notification System (WINS).

    This public service alert system includes over 150 categories of weather, emergency and non-emergency alerts—including ferry closures.

    WINS is a mass notification system operated by the St. Clair County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.  Once you create an account, you'll receive alerts to your home phone, smartphone, text messages or email.  You can choose which types of alerts you want to receive and how you'd like to receive them.

    If you have any questions about the Warning Information Notification System, please contact the Office of St. Clair County Homeland Security and Emergency Management at (810) 989-6965. 

    Enroll in WINS for Free

    A Secondary Source for Ferry Closure Updates:
    The ferry management team will post timely updates on closures in the Harsen's Island Happenings Facebook Group.

  • March 01, 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    The Association Remembers John G. Cameron

    John Cameron became a HISCFA director sometime in the early 1970's and devoted over 30 years of service to the Association! He held nearly every position including Secretary, Vice President, President, and Chairman of the Board. And he retired from the Association as one of our Honorary Lifetime Members. 

    John’s accomplishments are familiar to most of you whether you know it or not.

    One of his proudest moments and greatest accomplishments was getting natural gas on the Island. John worked on this project starting in the late 1980's until its completion in 1992. Island residents greatly benefitted—and still do today—from the availability of clean natural gas; it meant that they could finally dispose of propane and oil tanks.

    John G. Cameron, Honorary Lifetime Member

    John and his brother, Bill (former Board of Director, now deceased), also spent countless hours working to persuade the Road Commission to move their fence back and take down an unused shed. This enabled Harsen’s Island to have a Park & Ride conveniently located next to the ferry—another important community contribution. Leonard Dahle, a HISCFA Honorary Lifetime Director (now deceased) picked up and took this project to its completion.  

    Aside from these two pivotal initiatives, John and his brother also spent countless hours of work building, repairing, and improving the water station. Island residents who rely on the water station for drinking water have John and Bill to thank for their tireless work on yet another project intended to improve the quality of life for Islanders.

    There are many pillars of a community whose significant influence and contributions can leave a lasting impression; John G. Cameron is such an individual. He was a lover of Harsen’s Island and a lifelong resident. John and his wife, Helen, spent every summer on the Island, except those years he was enlisted in the U.S. Navy. They raised four sons in Birmingham and Harsen’s Island, MI. He “created” his first Island home in 1953 by moving his father-in-law’s boathouse to a plot of land, which in time became a permanent home. He also enjoyed putting together new inventions and hydroplanes with his friend Dick Chute.  

    On February 22, 2022, John Gray Cameron, Sr. passed away at his winter residence, in Cape Canaveral, Florida. As a community we want to remember and honor John for all that he did to make Harsen’s Island a great place to live! 

    “John Cameron was a fine human being, a lifelong island supporter and always helpful! Back in the 80’s I was having a new furnace installed, but also working and could not be home. John came and sat at my house all day while the furnace was being installed. This past October when my husband John Streit passed away, John and Judy came to the funeral home. He was an ever-loyal friend not to be forgotten!”

    - Nancy Streit, former HISCFA Director & Officer

    Note: Portions of this article were taken from the 2003 edition of The Delta News article “Honorary Members” written by Barbara Crown.

  • February 01, 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Members, 

    If you have moved or changed any of your contact information, please reach out to me at so I can update our roster that will be published in the 2022 edition of The Delta News.

    If you'd like to become a member of the Harsen's Island St. Clair Flats Association, please contact me as well.

    Thank you!

    Margaret Marchwinski
    HISCFA Secretary

  • January 01, 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Due to several conflicts, and in the interest of our Island residents and Membership’s health and safety, this month’s HISCFA meeting will be cancelled.

    The next HISCFA meeting will be held at 9:30 am at the Lions Hall on February 12th, 2022.

  • December 16, 2021 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Update from Champion's Auto Ferry
    via Nextdoor, December 16, 2021

    Just a reminder that the ferry will be free to cross on Christmas Day between 6AM and 10PM for residents and their guests.

    Please note however that this does not apply to commercial vehicles. Any commercial vehicles that come across during this timeframe will still be required to pay the full fare.

    Please have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

    Jake Bryson
    Champion's Auto Ferry

  • December 09, 2021 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    HISCFA has been a member of the Great Lakes Islands Alliance (GLIA) for a few years already. The Great Lakes Islands Alliance encourages relationship building, fosters information exchange, and leverages resources to address shared challenges and embrace opportunities to benefit islands.

    In early November HISCFA treasurer and GLIA representative, Harold Stieber, invited and hosted GLIA for a tour of Harsen's Island. 

    Peter Huston, the GLIA representative from Put-In-Bay (South Bass Island), Ohio, and his wife toured the Island on November 12, after spending the prior night (in the pouring rain) in their RV at Browne’s Field. Most of their footage was taken Friday morning using Peter's cellphone. Peter did the narrative on the original but then had a voice-over artist narrate the final version. He is trying to visit all the 19 member islands of GLIA and put together videos about each island for the GLIA members to learn, enjoy and share.

    Here's the video where you'll see Harsen's Island St. Clair Flats Association's Treasurer, Harold Stieber, providing some background for the viewers. Enjoy!

    Learn more about GLIA, its missions and goals, and the other member islands.

  • December 01, 2021 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    From Champion's Auto Ferry:

    New rates in effect January 1, 2022

    • Regular fare will increase to $15 per round trip.
    • Price for a book of tickets will increase to $200.
    • Price for trailers with 1 wheel on each side of an axle will increase to $10 per axle.
    • Price for a motorcycle will increase from $6 to $7.
    • All self-propelled motorhomes will be charged $30 per axle (not counting the steering axle).

  • November 13, 2021 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Jacob Bryson from Champion's Auto Ferry attended the November 13, 2021 HISCFA meeting held at the Harsen's Island Lions Hall.

    Below are the notes that appear in the HISCFA Meeting Minutes for November's meeting. 

    As most people know, Champion's Auto Ferry recently put in for a rate increase. The ferry rate increase was granted November 12, 2021. The full fare price is going from $12 to $15 (cash rate). The discount commuter price is going up $1, from $9 to $10 per ticket, increasing the book rate from $180 to $200. Single wheel, single axle trailers will also increase by $1 (can still use a ticket for this). Motorcycles are going up $1: from $6 to $7. Motorhomes (e.g. self-driven RVs) will now be charged as a commercial truck, and commercial truck rates will stay the same ($30/axle). No change for walking the ferry (pedestrians remain free).

    This pricing structure is an attempt to minimize the impact to the year-round residents. All of the extra revenue is going towards fighting the inflation that everyone is being hit with right now, and wage increases (to become competitive again) to retain personnel they currently have and getting more people in the spring.

    The rate increase is effective January 1, 2022. New tickets will not be sold until January 1, 2022. Current yellow tickets are valid through the end of this year (December 31, 2021). Beginning January 2022 and throughout 2022, you can use the yellow ticket with an additional dollar (when applicable). However, yellow tickets will no longer be accepted beginning January 1, 2023 (bottom left corner of ticket reads "Ticket Value Forfeit after Dec. 2022"). If you have remaining yellow tickets in 2022 and you do not wish to provide $1 with yellow tickets on the ferry deck when crossing, you can come into the ferry office and exchange your yellow tickets plus $1 (per ticket) in exchange for the new tickets.

    Jacob Bryson reported that Champion's Auto Ferry has a captain who recently came off of an extended medical leave, so the ferry will be able to extend the hours of the second boat beginning Monday, November 15, 2021. This will accommodate two boats from 6am to approximately 6pm or 7pm. Progress on the ferry docks/ramps has been slow since Jacob has been busy driving the boat as much as necessary to help accommodate the traffic. However, now that an additional captain is returning to work, Jacob can return to the shop to continue progress for the dock/ramp construction. Work in the shop has been taking place to pre-fabricate as much as possible. Additionally, the new docks are going to be several feet longer which will ease the angle of the ramp to lessen scrapes/bottoming-out from low-clearance vehicles. Work is estimated to be completed in the spring, but it is both weather-dependent and of course progress-dependent. At the moment, there is neither a short-term nor long-term plan to re-route incoming traffic in the lineup/approach the mainland ferry.

  • September 20, 2021 11:03 AM | Anonymous

    Update from Champion's Auto Ferry
    via Nextdoor, September 15

    Due to a shortage of captains, as well as one of our full time captains being out due to a medical issue, Champion's Auto Ferry will be unable to operate a week day second boat beginning next week, September 20th. Please plan for backups and leave yourself extra time to get to appointments and work.

    Please note that we are not voluntarily suspending the second boat. This is entirely due to a staffing shortage that has hit most industries around the country. If you have a 100 ton US Coast Guard License and FCC Marine Radio Operator Permit, or know someone who does, and are looking for a part time job, please call the ferry office.

    If we are able to operate a 2nd boat during the week, even for a short time during the day, we will, but please don't plan on it as these instances will be limited. Again, please give yourselves extra time to get where you need to go.

    Also, while you may be frustrated with the wait, please do not take it out on the deckhands and captains while you are onboard the vessels. They are trying to move passengers as quickly as possible, and have no control over how many boats we are able to operate.

    Thank you,

    Jake Bryson

  • May 04, 2021 12:19 AM | Anonymous

    The HISCFA is currently preparing a grant request submission to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation for continuing infrastructure improvements on Browne’s Field and Recreation Park.

    The grant monies being requested will be used to fortify our membership dues and donations that are already earmarked for our top focus projects of permanent restrooms and a walking path.

    Stay tuned for more updates later this month!

    Craig A. Baloga
    HISCFA President

Featured Items

Harsen's Island Transportation Authority (HITA)

Contrary to popular belief, HISCFA is not part of HITA.  Our only involvement with HITA is to nominate three volunteers to the Clay Township Supervisor.  Nominees that are appointed to HITA by Clay Twp. have a 3-year term.  Please let the HISCFA President know if you're interested in being nominated to HITA.

Nomination to HITA



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