Efforts to preserve one of the region’s greatest natural resources continued as conservationists are taking a closer look at the beaches of Presque Isle.
“There is a ton of value in Presque Isle, whether it’s economic value, whether it’s just health and wellbeing for people that come out here. Being able to keep that at the forefront and have the best protection for the park long-term is definitely what we want to see,” said Matt Greene, the Presque Isle State Park Operations Manager
Greene and other representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources took their annual beach walk to assess the erosion on Presque Isle State Park beaches.
“This revetment wall that you see was installed back in the 50’s. This wall runs all the way down to where the condos are protecting the neck. And it gets exposed annually from the wind-wave action as it moves that sand into six, seven, eight, Mill Road areas,” continued Greene.
Conservationists said efforts started nearly 30 years ago to keep Presque Isle State Park from eroding.
“The lake shore is a natural place, we’re trying to work with what nature gives us rather than completely engineer and force our vision upon it. So, the breakwaters they slow down erosion, they took us from about 168,000 cubic yards sand a year replaced every year before the breakwaters were built. Since project completion in ’93 with about 40,000 cubic yards so we’re down about 75%,” said Weston Cross, a coastal geologist for the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Cross said it was essential for the Army Corps of Engineers to implement break walls.
“You would see a much heavier erosion back in. You would start losing the dunes, you’d lose the beaches and then you would also start to see erosion out at Gull Point because Gull Point is wholly dependent on the that sand coming out of our project moving down there to keep that healthy for the natural area down that way,” continued Cross.