Presque Isle State Park has long been the region’s most popular attraction, and with that in mind, maintaining the park’s beaches is a high priority.
On Monday, officials got a first-hand look during the fall beach walk. It’s an environmental tug-of-war between man and nature that’s gone on for generations. Protecting Presque Isle from the often punishing effects of Lake Erie, this group saw for themselves how man was doing in the fight.
“For well over 100 years, there’s been engineering that’s gone on the peninsula to kind of shore up some of those features, and most notably, now with infrastructure on the park, we try to protect that infrastructure that’s here,” said Matt Greene, park operations manager.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and park officials took part in the beach walks twice a year. Their main focus is on sand replenishment or nourishment; what’s working and what’s not.
For example, much of the sand is placed on so-called “feeder beaches”, where the lake’s natural wave action pushes the sand to more heavily eroded beaches.
“The fall beach walk is an opportunity for us to take a look at the beaches, what we’ve done over the previous year and talk about the year ahead,” said Michael Asquith, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Presque Isle is now in the 29th year of a 50-year sand nourishment project that began with the break walls. Both the U.S. Army Corps and the state expect the 30th year to be a good one, with funding for 2023 already lined up.
The next beach walk will take place in the spring to evaluate the damage done by winter.