Michigan beach disappearing with rising lake levels and high winds

Lincoln Township Beach// WSBT 22

As the weather starts to warm up, cities and towns along Lake Michigan are preparing for the influx of tourists.

Many want to enjoy the beach, but they may not see the beach day they're anticipating.

The Lincoln Township Beach near Stevensville has seen some major changes in the past year.

Right now, the beach is practically non-existent because of rising lake levels coming on shore and high winds causing waves to reach the embankment walls.

Many residents says it is the worst they've ever seen it.

“It's not a pretty picture for beach goers here right now,” said Lincoln Township Treasurer, Terrie Smith. “We had quite a bit of distance to go out to the water, but now it's right up where the parking lot is and so there's really nothing there.”

Allen Sebrechts has lived here since the sixties. He says it's not just Lincoln Township's beach.

“Right now, there are so many people here that are in bad shape because the lake is up two feet and it's going to go up more,” he said.

Sebrechts helps build embankment walls for people who live along the lake.

“There are people that had a 100-foot beach, now they don't even have land anymore, see that's the situation,” he said.

Town engineers are working on creating embankments for the public beaches but it's still in the planning stages.

“Half of the dunes are in Wisconsin already... take a look at what we've lost. That'll never come back,” Sebrechts said.

For now, residents are just bending to Mother Nature's plans.

About two years ago Lincoln Township had plans to completely redo the beach front walkways, but because there is no beach those plans are on hold.

The Army Corps projects the lake levels to rise even more in the next couple of months-- so things may get worse before they get better.

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