Berrien County Commissioners pursue disaster declaration to stop shoreline erosion
ST. JOSEPH, Mich – A possible solution to the erosion on the Michigan coastline is moving forward.
On Thursday the Berrien County Commissioners passed a proposal that if taken up on the state level would declare the 3,288 miles of coastline in Michigan a disaster area.
“This is not just a problem down here in New Buffalo this is all the way up and down the Great Lakes shoreline,” Berrien County Commissioner Ezra Scott said.
As ABC57 News has reported the shoreline has seen significant erosion due to many factors but primarily because of high lake levels.
St. Joseph resident Thomas Thornburg who has a house on the shore says the need is urgent.
“It’s an urgent situation right now and many many people are dealing with it,” Thornburg said.
According to Commissioner Scott three things could be done to stop or lessen the erosion.
Scott said an underwater rock barrier could be built parallel to the shore line to lessen the impact of waves, pump sand off the lake floor to build up the shoreline, or lowering the lake level by draining water from strategic points.
“Doing it this way we’re asking the Governor and the legislature to declare all of those miles of shoreline a disaster area and apply to the President of the United States who has the authority on his own to declare this a disaster area,” Scott said.