Lake Michigan

 

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project has reported a record number of drownings on Lake Michigan this year. The non-profit, which tracks Great Lakes drownings, said that 53 people have drowned in the lake as of Sept. 26.

Dave Benjamin, co-founder of the Surf Rescue Project, said the uptick can be attributed to several factors, including the lack of a national water safety program and the ability to easily track drownings via news alerts.

Photo provided by Indiana DNR

The body of a 16-year-old girl was recovered from Lake Michigan near the Michigan City lighthouse pier Monday afternoon.

Meantime a search is underway for an Illinois man who fell off a boat into Lake Michigan Sunday in the Hammond area.

Swimming Advisories Extended For Parts Of Lake Michigan

Aug 17, 2020

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — The National Weather Service has extended swimming advisories for parts of Lake Michigan as forecasters predict high waves and strong currents. The beach hazard statements were issued Sunday and now run into Tuesday evening and that officials are urging people to stay out of the water. Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties in Indiana are under advisories. So are Cook and Lake counties in Illinois and Michigan's Berrien County.

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

It’s been one year since a northwest Indiana steel facility’s spill into a Lake Michigan waterway — which killed about 3,000 fish and forced beaches to close temporarily. The Environmental Law & Policy Center said ArcelorMittal’s pollution violations haven’t stopped in 2020. 

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a 44-year-old Indiana man has drowned in Lake Michigan while trying to save his two children. Police say four people were seen struggling in the lake about 8 p.m. Thursday at Lions Park Beach in southwestern Michigan's St. Joseph. The man's two children, ages 17 and 12, were swept away. They were rescued by a St. Joseph reserve officer. Their father was pulled from the water, but later was pronounced dead at a hospital. He was from Lakeville, Indiana, south of South Bend. A man on a surfboard was able to rescue the other two people.

 

Photo Of The Week - Sunset Coast

Jul 30, 2020
Lynn Gordon

This is the time of year when living along Lake Michigan's "sunset coast" provides stunning images. Thanks to Lynn Gordon for this photo she took earlier this month in Union Pier, Michigan.

We'd love to see what you are taking pictures of. Email them to us at wvpe@wvpe.org. 

Make sure to include your name, where you live, names of people in the photo, date the photo was taken and the location where the photo was taken. 

Please send images in .jpg format and scale down any image that is larger than 2 mb in size.

WVPE Honored With Another 1st Place Journalism Award

Jun 26, 2020
https://www.facebook.com/pmjatweets/photos/a.10150594631887874/10156670228412874/?type=3&theater

Congrats to former WVPE journalist, Jennifer Weingart. She was honored Thursday with a First Place award for Best News Feature by the Public Media Journalists Association.

Jennifer's report on 'Water Levels, High Winds Erode Lake Michigan Coastline' aired in December of 2019. 

Earlier this year, Jennifer and WVPE's Justin Hicks also picked up awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for their reporting work. 

Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

As if shoreline erosion wasn't enough, communities and property owners on Lake Michigan are now dealing with another problem due to record high water levels - trash. Up and down the lake, large amounts of it are washing up on shore. 

Two Great Lakes Break Water Level Records In April

May 10, 2020

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Water levels at two upper Great Lakes have broken records as predicted, and they're expected to get higher in coming months. The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that Lakes Michigan and Huron set new water level records in April and were 13.4 inches higher than last year at this time and almost 3 inches higher than the record set in 1986.

Alan Mbathi/IPB News

Erosion along Lake Michigan is pitting neighbor against neighbor in Indiana. While some want to build barriers to protect their property along the lake, others want to block those efforts.

Rising Water Threatens The Great Lakes Shoreline Too

Apr 23, 2020
Alan Mbathi/IPB News

As sea levels rise, the nation’s Atlantic and Pacific coastlines are eroding — putting homes and businesses in jeopardy. But climate change also is increasing erosion on what’s called the nation’s “third coast” — the Great Lakes shoreline. 

Rafi Wilkinson via AP

DETROIT — Officials in Michigan are warning that efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic could have a serious impact on relief and repairs during what is expected to be another tumultuous spring flooding season

South Haven Marina Closing Due To High Water Levels

Mar 21, 2020
http://south-haven.com/parks_and_recreation/marinas.php

 

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — High water levels have sunk the boating season for a southwestern Michigan marina.

The Northside Municipal Marina in South Haven is closing this year due to an electrical system compromised by rising water.

Officials say anyone coming in contact with the water could be shocked or electrocuted.

Upgrades planned for the summer are expected to cost $300,000. Harbor master and assistant city manager Kate Hosier says the city is working to accommodate longtime slip holders.

FILE PHOTO: Nick Janzen/IPB News

Legislation that secures the public’s right to access Lake Michigan beaches in front of private property is back on the table. Lawmakers snuck in language from a bill that failed earlier this session. Both houses agreed to send it to Governor Eric Holcomb’s desk on Wednesday. 

Shoreline Erosion On Lake Michigan

Mar 10, 2020
Timeless Aerial Photography LLC.

Many communities along the Lake Michigan shoreline are in crisis. High water levels and strong storms this winter contributed to shoreline erosion that is threatening private homes and vital infrastructure, and eating away at the beaches.

How much of this erosion is natural, and how much have man-made structures contributed? And how are the most impacted communities handling the challenge?

Produced by Maggie Gelon.

Guests:

Paul Labovitz
Superintendent, Indiana Dunes National Park

http://ogdendunes.in.gov/visitor-information

OGDEN DUNES, Ind.  — An Indiana community along Lake Michigan has filed a federal lawsuit over its battle with shoreline erosion.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Uncertainty over Curtis Hill’s future as attorney general. Calls for greater accountability of virtual charter schools. And a fix to Indiana’s welfare eligibility laws.

Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.

Curtis Hill Disciplinary Update

Holcomb: Calculate Damage On Lake Michigan Shoreline

Feb 20, 2020
https://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2980.htm

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s governor is telling state agencies to calculate the damage along the Lake Michigan shoreline that’s been caused by high water ahead of possibly seeking federal assistance.

The order announced Thursday comes as several lakeshore communities have already declared local beach erosion emergencies.

State officials have declined to declare a state emergency, but Gov. Eric Holcomb said he wanted a new review after viewing the shoreline by helicopter on Sunday.

Congressman Upton Visits District to Talk Lake Levels.

Feb 20, 2020
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

Congressman Fred Upton visited the shoreline in his southwest Michigan district Thursday to talk about lake levels and erosion.

Republican congressman Fred Upton was in St. Joseph, Benton Harbor and South Haven to look at the state of the marinas to see the impact high water may have on boating, fishing and recreation.

“The fishing industry, the recreation industry, I mean, this is almost a $10 billion industry for the Great Lakes.”

Group Works To Protect Michigan Lighthouse

Feb 18, 2020
https://www.facebook.com/pointbetsielighthouse/photos/a.2335061936710426/2382052652011354/?type=3&theater

FRANKFORT, Mich. (AP) — 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.

A crack in the cement barrier intended to prevent erosion in front of the lighthouse is a high priority.

AP Photo/John Flesher

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Road damage from the overflowing Great Lakes and other waterways may carry a whopping price tag for Michigan. Brad Wieferich of the state Department of Transportation said Monday about 40 locations have been hit especially hard.

He says initial estimates suggest about $5 million will be needed for immediate fixes. But the costs of long-term repairs and upgrades could reach $100 million. Erosion and flooding are posing challenges across much of the Great Lakes region.

New Cruise Ship Scheduled To Visit Great Lakes In 2022

Feb 10, 2020
https://www.vikingcruises.com

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A cruise ship currently being built in Norway is scheduled to visit the Great Lakes, including a stop at Traverse City in northern Michigan eight times starting January 2022.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that the Discovery Center & Pier about a year ago announced plans to transform a former coal dock in Michigan into a site that ships could use to land passengers.

Great Lakes High Water Levels - No Relief In Sight

Feb 7, 2020
AP Photo/John Flesher

  

MANISTEE, Mich. (AP) — High water levels are wreaking havoc in the Great Lakes. The five inland seas are bursting at the seams during the region's wettest period in more than a century, which scientists say is likely connected to the warming climate.

And no relief is in sight. Forecasters expect the lakes to remain high well into 2020. Homes and businesses are flooding, roads and sidewalks are crumbling and beaches are washing away.

Eric Allix Rogers/Flickr

Residents who live near Lake Michigan are unlikely to get clarity this year on who can use beaches in front of private property and for what purpose. Three state bills that would have addressed that issue failed this legislative session. 

Two of them would have given lakefront property owners the sole rights to the beach as long as those rights were stated in the most recent deed to the property.

FILE PHOTO: Nick Janzen/IPB News

Two contradictory state bills meant to decide who gets access to Lake Michigan beaches passed out of committee on Monday. 

The one in the Senate aligns with a 2018 Indiana Supreme Court decision that says the public has a right to use Lake Michigan beaches up to where the high water mark usually hits the sand. It also defines what kinds of activities are allowed there — like walking and swimming — which the court said the state should decide.

Indiana Agency Denies Emergency Request Over Beach Erosion

Jan 18, 2020
AP Photo/Tom Davies File

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security has declined to declare an emergency at Lake Michigan beaches that have been eroded by high water levels and storms.

A House bill seeks to challenge an Indiana Supreme Court decision that secured the public’s right to use Lake Michigan beaches that are in front of private property. 

Tyler Lake/WTIU

Since ArcelorMittal’s Burns Harbor facility spilled cyanide and ammonia into a Lake Michigan waterway in August, the state has required the plant to send daily test results to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Now the agency says the company has been distorting those results. 

https://www.facebook.com/IndianaDunesNPS/photos/a.388807581184247/2871764579555189/?type=3&theater

BEVERLY SHORES, Ind. (AP) — The National Park Service and a northwestern Indiana town will install sand traps along the Lake Michigan shoreline to combat beach erosion at the Indiana Dunes National Park.

The federal agency was scheduled to begin working Friday with the town of Beverly Shores to fill 300 linear feet of sand traps at the national park.

Water Levels, High Winds Erode Lake Michigan Coastline

Dec 17, 2019
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

Water levels in Lake Michigan are at near-record highs after hitting record lows nearly seven years ago. This rapid swing, coupled with increasing storm activity is eating away at the shoreline. 

On a sunny and cold Saturday in December volunteers flocked to Weko Beach in Bridgman to fill sandbags.

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