The 21st Show

The Great Lakes’ Eroding Beaches


Daniel X. O'Neil/Flickr

The Midwest isn’t what comes to mind when we think of America’s coastlines, but the total U.S. coastline of the Great Lakes is more in miles than both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The Midwest's coastline is a magnet for the many people who visit its beaches and coastal towns, and for the lucky few wealthy enough to build homes there. However, it is in trouble.

This year Lake Michigan has been near a record high level, flooding beaches, swamping lakefront trails, and endangering buildings along the sandy shoreline. People around the lake are not letting it go quietly, and both individual homeowners and governments at all levels are taking on projects big and small to try to hold back the waters.

The 21st was joined by scientists working on solutions to hear more. 


Jack Cox, Coastal Engineer for Edgewater Resources (Consulted on the science of lakeshore projects, including at Illinois Beach State Park)

Steve Brown, Chief Scientist for the Illinois State Geological Survey and Prairie Research Institute for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jim Gallie, Park Manager for Ludington State Park, Michigan 


Prepared for web by Zainab Qureshi

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