Final approval has
been given for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s Shoreline Restoration and
Management Plan, the National Park Service (NPS) reported today.
A Record of
Decision (ROD) for the plan and an Environmental Impact Statement were
approved on Oct. 21 by Acting Regional Director Patricia S. Trap.
“This allows the
National Park Service, in partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers, to
begin an annual schedule of beach nourishment to remedy erosion and damage
to the dunes and beaches of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore,” NPS said.
The plan in
question is noteworthy because one of its original preferred recommendations
was the construction of a “cobble berm” under 10 feet of water off Crescent
Dune east of Mt. Baldy. That recommendation was abandoned, however, after
NPS “received substantial comment from the public” objecting to the berm.
Instead, a program
of beach nourishment incorporating natural small stones mixed with sand at
the shoreline will take the place of the berm.
NPS heeded public
comment about the plan’s original preferred recommendations in one other
way: by increasing the proposed frequency of beach nourishment along the
Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk site and at West Beach to every year,
instead of every five years.
NPS noted today
that erosion “threatens national park resources, recreation opportunities,
homes, and businesses” along the National Lakeshore’s shoreline from Trail
Creek in Michigan City west to the U.S. Steel facility.
structures interfere with the natural movement of sand in Lake Michigan,
making beach replenishment necessary to restore areas of shoreline where
sand has been eroded.
A copy of the
Record of Decision is available online at