Beaches eroding along Lake Michigan due to high water levels

Escanaba Daily Press

Escanaba – Some beaches along Lake Michigan are taking a hit from high water levels.

The vegetation that protects sandy beach areas is eroding, the Escanaba Daily Press reported.

City recreation director Kim Peterson said the water is practically running up to the berm at the Escanaba Municipal Beach in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Lake Michigan shoreline erosion  approaches homes in Stevensville.

“There is no beach at all,” Peterson said, noting she drove through the area last week to asses damage after the remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobal traveled through the port city. “The berm is there to stop the water and has done its job. If it wasn’t there water would have approached the road to Aronson Island.”

Peterson said she’s spoken to several experts about potential methods to reinforce the beach and welcomes suggestions from people in the community. Escanaba plans to open the beach sometime in the middle of June, with lifeguards present Monday through Friday.

“We’re doing the best we can with what we can,” said Peterson. “We take huge pride in what we do.”

Gladstone Parks and Recreation Director Nicole Sanderson said the Gladstone beach will open this summer without lifeguards or a concession stand.

“There will be no lifeguards on our beach this summer. Swimmers will swim at their own risk,” she added. “The concession stand and beach-house bathroom and showers will all be closed.”

Sanderson plans to install the ropes and a water slide. An outside shower by the beach house will be available in addition to the Van Cleve Park bathroom.