LAKETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A lot of work is being done to help stabilize the dunes at one Laketown Township beach.
Dunes, like the ones found at the beach located at 6710 142nd Avenue, continually shift due to wind gusts, water levels and of course, man-made elements like foot traffic. The Laketown Township Parks Commission is now working to eliminate the latter.
“The biggest thing that we are kind of chasing down or what we’re trying to do, in essence, is to try to get this thing back stabilized in a way that kind of where nature would,” said Jeremy Van Hoven, the chairperson for the parks commission.
One of the biggest issues at the beach is the shifting of the sand. Large portions of steps at the beachfront have been covered completely by sand, making it difficult for visitors to use them. The sand-covered stairs play into visitors seeking different routes to get down to the 200 yards of beachfront which include climbing up and down the dunes, causing more destabilization.
Efforts to help stabilize the dunes include a third phase of planting beach grass over three-quarters of an acre of land in the next few weeks to help reduce the disruptions in the dunes. The grass had been lost as a result of high water marks over the past few years that have increased erosion.
There are also plans to potentially implement EZ Beach Steps in the park to help keep visitors on the correctly designated paths.
“How ideal it would be to utilize someone local and then also have something that will be kind of able to change as our needs change as the dune shifts? I mean, it’s going to do it naturally and it’s going to be great to be able to have something that we can put in place and move if we have to,” Van Hoven said.
New signage has also been placed around the popular beach that asks visitors to stay on the designated path to avoid causing further shifts in the dunes. Van Hoven said the goal of the Parks Commission is to keep up with the dunes as best as it can.
“You really want to have an environment that people can come out and explore it and enjoy,” he said.