Beach Reinforcement Efforts

Great Lakes water levels made headlines all year. During 2019, Great Lakes water levels reached or tied their highest readings from the last 100 years. Many Lake Michigan shoreline communities are addressing erosion and property damage as a result. Water levels are projected to decline over the next few months as is customary during the winter, but will still remain well above average.

Lake Michigan water levels, as reported by the Army Corps of Engineers

The Village of Empire tracked lake levels all year. This fall, an engineering firm was hired to help make a plan to protect the beach park. It was determined construction should be completed prior to the winter freeze.

During the month of December, Team Elmer’s has worked to reinforce the beach wall and to add riprap to compromised areas. Large boulders were placed between the two northern-most parking lots to protect the beach area and volleyball court. Team Elmer’s is installing sheet piling along the northern-most parking lot to reinforce the previously standing beach wall, which was knocked over due to high water in October. The wall will be reinstalled in its original location after the installation of the sheet piling is complete.

These installations will help to protect the beloved Empire Beach. We look forward to allowing the public to continue to enjoy its beauty in 2020!