NY - New Buffalo residents blame harbor for extensive beach erosion
Homes and properties are disappearing in New Buffalo before their owners' very eyes.
Beach erosion has reached dangerous levels, and there are questions about what's causing that erosion.
We've reported extensively on high water levels in Lake Michigan and how that can damage beaches and bluffs, but people in New Buffalo say the erosion they're seeing is from more than that.
They say the harbor is the problem.
Members of the New Buffalo Shoreline Alliance have owned homes and lived along Lake Michigan for decades. They have so many stories of spending time with friends and family, too many to count.
"There was all this fellowship all the time,” said Ed Oldis. “There was great fun each weekend, it was a different group here that was enjoying themselves."
Now, that's all gone; it slipped away as the sand slipped into the lake.
"That lake is relentless in attacking what used to be the beach and now the bluffs," said Oldis.
Now people are paying the price to protect themselves from that fury. The Warwick Shores Neighborhood has spent millions to install revetments.
"The whole community has got fresh rocks out this year," said Oldis.
Even that isn't always enough to ease all fears.
"When you lay down in bed at night and the bed shakes from the water hitting the shoreline, you go, 'what's the next play, what's going to happen next? How much is it going to cost, or worse, am I going to have a house?'" said New Buffalo Shoreline Alliance President Ted Grzywacz.
Losing a home is a legitimate concern. Nine have gone into Lake Michigan in recent years -- including the one right next to Ed Oldis' home.