Local environmentalists were out analyzing the beaches at Presque Isle State Park in the annual spring beach walk to determine the conditions and plan their next steps in renourishment.

Presque Isle State Park rangers were joined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and advisory committee members to determine the conditions of the beaches after the mild winter season.

“Most of the time, Beach 1 and Beach 3…don’t really need nourishment so we really start from (Beach) 5. (Beach) 5 just to the west of (Beach) 6 is where most of the erosion happens in the park,” said Matt Greene, park operations manager, Presque Isle State Park.

A coastal engineer said that although erosion has taken place, there is a beneficial aspect this year.

“Unfortunately, without the ice setting in, we did have regular wave action impacting the shoreline. We haven’t had too much for really heavy storms lately. February and March time frame there were a couple of bigger blows here and there, but I think we’ve benefitted from a slightly milder set of wind events and everything too,” said Weston Cross, coastal engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District.

The park operations manager said their findings also show lower water elevation levels than in past years.

“The water elevation is down to a much more manageable level. That means that scouring effect of erosion won’t happen as far up into the system, so we’re not losing as much sand as we were back in 2019 and 2020,” Greene said.

Greene told WJET that the next steps involve planning the best way to renourish the park.

“The Corps is going to go back and crunch all the numbers and determine. We have $1.5 million from the federal government and $1.5 million from the state, so we got about $3 million in the project — looking at with the new contract this year, what the sand prices are, what kind of quantities they can expect and then where those quantities are actually going to go out on the map,” Greene added.

Greene also said that some dredging of tombolos is also expected to take place during the renourishment process, which is expected to begin at the very beginning of June.