Nov 16, 2018

Presque Isle State Park Suffers Beach Erosion

Heavy storms has led to severe beach erosion

Lake Erie beach erosion following severe storms
Lake Erie beach erosion following severe storms

A series of storms since late October has led to severe sand erosion at Presque Isle State Park in Erie County, Pa. The park is expected to receive $1.5 million in funding from the federal government and an additional $1.5 million in state funding in 2019 to address the erosion.

“We were doing really good until about four weeks ago when it seemed like we started having small-craft advisories every day,” said Matt Greene, the park’s operations manager. “There’s been plenty of erosion at Beachers 5, 6, 8, the Mill Road beaches, and Beach 9 is now gigantic.”

The storm erosion has been further agitated by Lake Erie’s high current water levels which rest approximately 3 ft above the mean, as reported by local news source Go Erie.

“The high levels make it easier for the waves to reach the beaches’ dunes,” Greene said. “You don’t need as much wave action to reach them.”

Greene and other officials assess the beach erosion twice annually, once each fall and again in the spring. This fall’s 4-hour erosion assessment walk revealed many of the beaches suffered during heavy storms.

President Donald J. Trump promised funds for sand replenishment when U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly solicited for it during the president’s campaign visit on Oct. 10. The park expects an additional $1.5 million in erosion control funds from the state, in addition to $500,000 left over from 2018 funds.