Rising water levels of Lake Michigan and beach erosion could affect the future of the Indiana Dunes National Park.
Large waves on the lake breached a dune near a pavilion in Portage that most visitors use to access the dunes.
Park Superintendent Paul Labovitz said the beaches to the west of the pavilion have been eroding at a fast rate.
“This past year Lake Michigan’s water level was almost at its highest level ever recorded.”
Labovitz said the National Park and the Mayor of Portage have been meeting to discuss some solutions.
The Portage Mayor is concerned the foundation of the $17 million pavilion is at risk.
Labovitz said one way to combat the erosion from rising water levels is something called beach nourishment.
“We need to barge in or truck in several hundred thousand cubic yards of sand to replace sand that has been washed away and not replaced through natural processes.”
He also said that even though the Portage lakefront is hard to access right now, visitors have several beaches and hiking trails in the park to use.
Indiana Dunes became a National Park this summer which increased tourism in the area.
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