- Associated Press - Monday, June 5, 2017

LELAND, Mich. (AP) - Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northwest Michigan has outlined a $1 million plan to address severe shoreline erosion next to a historic island lighthouse.

MLive (https://bit.ly/2sJnkVr ) reports that engineers determined this spring that erosion has eaten the shoreline ringing the South Manitou Island Lighthouse, just off the mainland of the lakeshore. Officials said severe storms, strong wave action and high water levels made the erosion worse.

The project would fix about 250 feet (about 76 meters) of shoreline with the most severe erosion. Funding will come from the park’s entrance fee revenue.

The National Park Service is preparing its required environmental assessment for the project and is encouraging the public to provide comments or ideas about the work. The deadline for comments is Friday.

The 100-foot lighthouse used to guide ships into a deep, safe harbor between 1871 and 1958 before becoming a touchstone for day-trippers, hikers and campers. The U.S. Coast Guard deactivated the station in 1958, and it stood in limbo until 1970, when South Manitou Island and North Manitou Island were incorporated as part of the park.

The lighthouse has needed fortifications against environmental hurdles before, according to the park’s facility manager, Lee Jameson.

“If you look at this historically, this is certainly not the first time work needed to be done on the shoreline here,” Jameson said.

He said park leaders are hoping to start work on the project this fall. The project still needs state and federal permits, paperwork and contracts that need approval before work can begin.


Information from: The Grand Rapids Press:MLive.com, https://www.mlive.com

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