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Frankfort — An organization responsible for maintaining a historic Michigan lighthouse hopes that improving the site’s shoreline protection system will minimize damage from Lake Michigan’s high water levels.

High water is causing problems for properties all along Michigan’s shoreline, including the Point Betsie Lighthouse on the northeastern shore of Lake Michigan, the Record-Eagle reported.

A crack in the cement barrier intended to prevent erosion in front of the lighthouse is a high priority. The Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse began a $1 million fundraising campaign last year to pay for the work.

Dick Taylor, president of the group, said a request for engineering study proposals has been issued. The project requires permits from Michigan’s Department of Environment and other state and federal agencies, he said.

While the shoreline is a priority, the group also is planning to add sidewalks and angled parking near the lighthouse property along with a beachfront deck, a boardwalk and a wheelchair-accessible route to the beach.

The lighthouse was established in 1858. The site also includes a restored keeper’s residence and a museum for visitors.

“With smart phone and GPS, lighthouses are kind of yesterday’s technology,” Taylor said. “We all need to appreciate what a wonderful asset it is. It’s wonderful, neat, historic stuff.”

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