WI - No easy answers: Communities around Great Lakes struggle with erosion

Southeastern Wisconsin isn’t the only region along the Great Lakes caught off-guard by high water levels and a shrinking shoreline.

Adam Bechle, a coastal engineer with Wisconsin Sea Grant, pointed out that, because the water has not reached this level since 1986, there are many people — officials, researchers and homeowners — who are experiencing water this high for the first time.

“A lot of people are seeing it firsthand for the first time, including myself, because I was alive but not really working on the issue in 1986,” Bechle said.

Before water levels started to rise in 2015, water levels went from slightly above average in the 1990s to persistently below average in the 2000s. The climate models at that time hypothesized that the lower levels were here to stay.

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