submerged breakwaters jut out into Lake Michigan, nearly obscured by the rich blue lake waters
submerged in water

I always look to this submerged Lake Michigan breakwater as one way to gauge how much the lake has risen or fallen. This section of breakwater has become entirely submerged for most of the last few years and only occasionally makes an appearance.

The Various Lake Michigan Breakwater Designs

Along the entire lakefront you can see any number of different ideas about how best to design a Lake Michigan breakwater. But what is becoming more and more apparent as time goes on, is just how futile this effort might be. Here we can see the breakwater is nearly submerged. Having become lost as the lake rises further and further. Larger sections of the shore path have been closed. This is because, as the lake waters have risen, the paths have either been washed over or entirely washed away. Barricades and fencing dragged into the lake before being thrown onto the shore.

While it might perhaps be cruel to say these efforts are futile, it would certainly appear as if they are. Each spring the lake reveals the winter’s damage. Each year, more and more of the lake’s bike path needs rescue. And although that’s been possible in year’s past, the pandemic has halted a lot of annual work needed to help this Lake Michigan breakwater protect the shore.

With each passing season, the urgency that is needed to address the impact of climate change on Lake Michigan becomes even greater, as evidenced by this Lake Michigan breakwater. We must find ways, not just to protect the city, but protect the lake as well. How do we find ways to protect the lake itself. Before it becomes too late and the impact turns irreversible. Learn about the efforts of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, who seek to protect the entire Midwest environment.