Relief for Lake Michigan’s Eroded Beaches

Indiana House members recently approved a measure sponsored by State Rep. Scott Pelath that will mitigate erosion along Lake Michigan’s lakefront by using sand dredged from the lakebed.

Yesterday, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law the Senate Bill (SB) 178 under which all clean sand dredged from the Lake Michigan will be used to replenish Northwest Indiana’s badly eroded beaches.

The Bill 178, which was authored by State Sen. Karen Tallian, is designed to mitigate the effects of piers, ports, and other manmade structures on the distribution of sand and sediments along the lakefront. The bill provisions direct that any sand dredged from Lake Michigan’s lakebed be reallocated to areas suffering from erosion.

For reasons of both hydrology and meteorology, sand and sediment tend to swirl around Lake Michigan in a clockwise pattern,” said Pelath. “Manmade structures interrupt this pattern, with the consequence that some areas have too much sand and others not enough. Some of the problem is an endurable consequence of civilization, but the legislation will help beach sections suffering from damage and erosion.

Lake Michigan remains an economic engine for the entire state,” Tallian commented “However, the effects of human activity sometimes must be realigned with the lake’s natural qualities. This common sense measure will help preserve the lake for both commerce and our enjoyment.”


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