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Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - News of Lake Michigan and the Dunes

"Erosion continues to batter Ogden Dunes, Portage shores" is the headline to Joyce Russell's July 5th story in the NWI Times, with several photos. Some quotes:

Erosion is continuing to batter the Lake Michigan shores of Ogden Dunes and Portage this summer.

As lake levels rise, beach along the two communities continues to disappear, affecting the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk and residents in Ogden Dunes.

Officials, however, say moves have been made to find a long-term solution to the problem, which will ultimately be a plan for continuous nourishment of the beach west of the Burns Waterway Small Boat Harbor.

In April both Ogden Dunes and Portage signed on to be nonfederal sponsors intending to raise matching funds for a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers feasibility study to develop a beach nourishment plan. * * *

Steve Davis, Indiana Department of Natural Resources Lake Michigan coastal specialist, explained that man-made break walls along Lake Michigan's shore have stopped sand from its natural flow towards Portage and Ogden Dunes. The break walls, which protect industry along the lake and the mouth of the small boat harbor, in essence, starve beaches immediately to their west while sand tends to build on their east sides.

Davis told the group the situation will continue as long as the break walls remain in the lake.

The situation has been exacerbated in recent years by rising lake levels. According to the Corps of Engineers' report, Lake Michigan's levels were 2 inches higher in May than in April and 9 inches higher than lake levels of May 2015. They forecast the levels to continue to rise slightly through July and then dip through November, but end the year higher by 5 to 7 inches from the 2015 level.

"LaPorte County Residents Battle Over Lakefront Walls, Beach Access" is the heading to this July 1st WBAA story by Nick Janzen. Listen to the 3-minute story here. From the intro:
Along the Lake Michigan shoreline in LaPorte County, groups of residents are battling over the consequences of building sea walls -- which keep water from encroaching on land.

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Nick Janzen reports the fight may turn on what “private property” actually means.

See also this July 5th opinion in NUVO, posted by David Hoppe, headed "The trouble with beautiful places."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 6, 2016 09:57 AM
Posted to Environment | Indiana Government