A walk on the beach can clear your head, but did you know that some walks on the beach can fill your mind with new knowledge and boost your knowledge of the Great Lakes?
This summer, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy’s (EGLE) Michigan Coastal Management Program (MCMP) is partnering with the US Army Corps of Engineers to host eight community beach walks along the shores of each of the Great Lakes. bordering Michigan: Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior. The walks are open to everyone, and the dates and locations are listed at the end of this article.
Dr. Jim Selegean, a hydraulics engineer with the Corps’ Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office in Detroit, will lead the marches. Selegean has studied coastal issues and the shrinking of our beaches for over 30 years and leads the district’s Coastal Engineering and Field Measurements Unit.
The goal of the program is to increase the resilience of coastal communities – the ability to understand and use available resources to respond, resist and recover from adverse situations. Community members will learn about Great Lakes water levels, coastal hazards, Great Lakes storm dynamics, the impacts of coastal erosion and flooding, and more.
“I can’t think of a better classroom than the actual sands of our shores where these processes are taking place,” said Ronda Wuycheck, MCMP program manager.
Beach walks will also be an opportunity to learn more about MCMP’s Path to Resilience and grant funding information.
Michigan’s coastal communities are on the front lines of climate change, facing a perfect storm from seasonal fluctuations in Great Lakes water levels. Impacts such as record (2013) and record high (2020) water levels, more intense and frequent storms, and unseasonable temperatures. With over 3,288 miles of coastline in Michigan, it is important that local authorities and coastal property owners make wise decisions to respond to and recover from the negative impacts of coastal hazards.
The walks will start near the parking areas before heading towards the beach. No registration is required and there is no maximum number of participants. Here are the dates and locations:
- June 21: Luna Pier – 7 p.m. at Luna Pier Lighthouse, 10754 Lakeside Drive.
- June 27: Port Austin – 7 p.m. Bird Creek Park, 8746-8774 Lake St.
- June 28: Alpena – 7 p.m. at Starlite Beach Park (parking lot) S. State St.
- July 27: Houghton
- July 28: Escanaba
- August 16: South Haven
- August 17: Ludington
EGLE and the Corps will send announcements of specific times and locations to communities two to three weeks before each event. The walks will be canceled in the event of thunderstorms, with a postponement considered on a case-by-case basis. Contact Ronda Wuycheck, EGLE Coastal Management Program Manager, at 517-420-5921 or [email protected] with any questions.