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Tourism, conservation groups push for study on Lake Michigan beach erosion

Indiana Dunes Tourism has partnered with a consultant for the National Parks Conservation Association in an attempt to shake loose state and municipal funds to combat beach erosion.

During a Thursday tourism board meeting, consultant Tim Smith shared a video made by the tourism bureau highlighting the damage caused by erosion, most notably the collapse of a handicap accessible walkway at the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk.

“The seriousness is to a point where we need some quick acting done,” said Lorelei Weimer, the tourism bureau’s executive director.

The Army Corps of Engineers can conduct a study to find solution to beach erosion, an update of a 2011 study that discussed the problem but didn’t recommend any solutions, for $1.6 million, Smith said.

Half of the funding can come from the federal government through a grant, but only with a local match. The study, if the funds can be secured, takes two years to finalize, Smith said.

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