Low water levels on the Great Lakes could mean less erosion along Michigan’s shoreline


The debris of a stairway that collapsed as erosion tore away at this dune along Lake Michigan in Laketown Township. (April 19, 2020 – Luke Stier/WOOD TV8)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – After years of dramatic erosion along Michigan’s shorelines, the Great Lakes look to be calming down this year.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced on Monday that they expect water levels on the lakes to be lower, thanks in part to a dry winter with less ice cover on the lakes, allowing more water to evaporate.

Those water levels have trended downward since last fall, and are expected to stay below 2020 levels for at least six months.

Combined with some fierce storms on the lakes, those high water levels have caused millions of dollars in property damage along the lakeshore. Buildings and roads were destroyed by the erosion.

While this is good news for people with property along the lakes, USACE Water Management Division Chief John Allis says it would be premature to think this is the end of high water and damaging erosion along the Great Lakes.

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