Lake Michigan

Alan Mbathi / IPB News

Erosion along Lake Michigan is pitting neighbor against neighbor in Indiana. While some want to build barriers to protect their property along the lake, others want to block those efforts.

Rising Water Threatens The Great Lakes Shoreline Too

Apr 23, 2020
Alan Mbathi / IPB News

As sea levels rise, the nation’s Atlantic and Pacific coastlines are eroding — putting homes and businesses in jeopardy. But climate change also is increasing erosion on what’s called the nation’s “third coast” — the Great Lakes shoreline. 

Tyler Lake / WFIU/WTIU

The number of industrial facilities reporting water pollution violations in the Midwest has spiked since 2017. A new report shows it could be due to a decline in enforcement at the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Nick Janzen / IPB News

OGDEN DUNES, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana town along Lake Michigan has approved spending $150,000 for expert input and emergency repairs to protect homes from sliding into the water.

It could take up to $10 million to rebuild the seawall that is meant to protect homes on the east side of Ogden Dunes, according to Rodger Howell, who heads a beach protection committee.

Nick Janzen / IPB News

Legislation that secures the public’s right to access Lake Michigan beaches in front of private property is back on the table. Lawmakers snuck in language from a bill that failed earlier this session. Both houses agreed to send it to Governor Eric Holcomb’s desk on Wednesday. 

All In: Shoreline Erosion On Lake Michigan

Mar 10, 2020
Provided / Timeless Aerial Photography LLC.

Many communities along the Lake Michigan shoreline are in crisis. High water levels and strong storms this winter contributed to shoreline erosion that is threatening private homes and vital infrastructure, and eating away at the beaches.

NWI Times

Indiana lawmakers are considering a bill that would undo a landmark Indiana Supreme Court ruling that affirmed that the shoreline of Lake Michigan is owned by the state and held in trust for use by all residents. 

Rep. Doug Miller sponsored legislation that would give up the state's ownership of large swaths of Indiana's lake shoreline to adjacent private property owners if their deeds indicate the land extends to Lake Michigan.

John Luke / The Times via AP

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — A steelmaker in Indiana is denying manipulating results from toxic readings that were required after a chemical spill killed more than 3,000 fish last year.

The Post-Tribune reports state regulators claim that ArcelorMittal's steel plant is redoing daily ammonia and cyanide tests, reporting the lower score. An Indiana Department of Environmental Management official says the company's attempt to redo daily tests “undermines the integrity” of its self-disclosures.

Chicago canal to close at times next week for mapping work

Nov 15, 2019

CHICAGO (AP) — A section of a Chicago-area canal that forms part of the waterway linking Lake Michigan with the Illinois River will be closed at times next week.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal will be shut down in the vicinity of an electric barrier designed to prevent invasive Asian carp from moving toward the lake.

Project manager Chuck Shea says crews will be doing routine mapping to measure the strength of the electric field.

Report shows mixed results on Great Lakes lamprey control

Nov 13, 2019

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Officials say populations of fish-killing sea lamprey remain at near-historic lows in Lakes Michigan and Ontario but are above target levels in Lakes Huron, Superior and Erie.

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission issued a progress report Tuesday on containing the parasitic lampreys, which invaded the lakes in the last century from the Atlantic Ocean and threatened trout and other native species.

They use suction-cup mouths and razor-sharp teeth to feed on blood and body fluids of other fish, usually killing their hosts.

Northwest Indiana mayor says lake waters threaten pavilion

Nov 13, 2019

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — A Northwest Indiana mayor said his police and fire departments want to close a city-managed lakefront pavilion that many people use to enter Indiana Dunes National Park.

Portage Mayor John Cannon said the rising waters of Lake Michigan threaten the $17 million Lakefront Park and Riverwalk.

Park Superintendent Paul Labovitz tells The Times that high waves on the lake breached a dune adjacent to the pavilion for the first time last week, and waves were seen rushing into the area again Monday.

The state says ArcelorMittal failed to notify the public soon enough about problems that led to a cyanide and ammonia spill in a Lake Michigan tributary. That’s according to an investigative report by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. 

John Luke / The Times via AP

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — A steel company apologized for a spill of cyanide and ammonia that led to a fish kill and prompted the closure of beaches along Lake Michigan.

ArcelorMittal issued a statement Friday night saying it "apologizes and accepts responsibility for the incident from the Burns Harbor facility."

PORTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a young Indiana woman has died while swimming at a lake in southwestern Michigan.

Cass County sheriff's deputies responded Tuesday evening to Long Lake in Porter Township, where seven people from Indiana had been wakeboarding. The sheriff's office says they stopped to take a break, and 19-year-old Janelle Miller of Shipshewana went for a swim and vanished.

People on the boat called 911 and tried unsuccessfully to find her. The Cass County Marine Division and the Van Buren County Dive Team found her body late Tuesday.

Official says Indiana drownings are up this year

Jul 25, 2019
Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — People are drowning at a higher rate this year than last year, Indiana authorities said.

The 34 drownings in public waterways this year exceed last year's number at the same time, according to Capt. Jet Quillen of the Department of Natural Resources.

"We're a little bit higher than last year at this time," said Capt. Jet Quillen, of the Department of Natural Resources' Law Enforcement Division. "We will see them drop off in September. The boating season is the big busy time on the water - from Memorial Day to Labor Day."

Indiana man dies after overcome by waves in Lake Michigan

Jul 23, 2019

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) — Indiana conservation officers say a man pulled from Lake Michigan has died.

They say 25-year-old Christian Rosete of Michigan City died at a hospital Sunday night.

Officers say Rosete was pulled from the lake near Washington Park Beach in Michigan City on Saturday night. They say he was swimming with family when he was overcome by waves and did not resurface.

Members of Michigan City Fire Department along with Good Samaritans were able to pull him from the water and was transported to the hospital.

Almost every Lake Michigan beach that was tested in Indiana last year had at least one day where high bacteria levels could have threatened swimmers’ health. That’s according to a national report on beach water quality by Environment America. 

Body of missing swimmer recovered in southwestern Michigan

Jul 12, 2019
Provided

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) — Indiana conservation officers say the body of a missing teenager in has been recovered in southwestern Michigan.

They say Chikaming Township Police in Berrien County, Michigan, told them that the body of a male matching the description of 17-year-old Rahem Mason of South Bend was found by a member of the public along a beach around 12:40 p.m. Thursday. Conservation officers responded to the scene and positively identified Mason. He's believed to have accidentally drowned.

Indiana's 3 ports earn Green Marine national designation

Jun 17, 2019

BURNS HARBOR, Ind. (AP) — The Ports of Indiana have become the nation's first inland waterway system to secure a national designation that honors the adoption of environmental best practices.

The Times reports that the Green Marine certification awarded to Indiana's three-port system recognizes the shipping industry's environmental sustainability in storm water management, spill prevention and other measures.

Body of missing Indiana kayaker found along Lake Michigan

May 29, 2019
Provided / WNDU

PORTER, Ind. (AP) — Indiana conservation officers have recovered the body of a man who vanished during a kayaking trip on Lake Michigan.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says 23-year-old Jacob Sandy's body was pulled from the lake Wednesday morning in Porter, Indiana, after an Indiana Dunes State Park employee spotted it along the shoreline.

Kayak believed to belong to missing man found along lake

May 28, 2019
Provided / WNDU

PORTER, Ind. (AP) — Authorities searching along northern Indiana's Lake Michigan shoreline for a man who vanished during a kayaking trip say what's believed to be the man's kayak has been recovered.

Twenty-three-year-old Jacob Sandy of South Bend was last seen May 18. Police in Porter, Indiana, determined that a car with a Michigan license plate found May 21 at a parking lot near Porter Beach belonged to Sandy.

Asian carp DNA found in Chicago area near Lake Michigan

May 21, 2019
Provided / Illinois Department of Natural Resources via AP

CHICAGO (AP) — Officials say genetic material from Asian carp has been detected near Lake Michigan, but a follow-up search turned up none of the invasive fish.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service posted results last week from sampling conducted in the Chicago Area Waterway System in early April.

Most of the 401 water samples were negative, but six registered DNA hits for silver or bighead carp in Lake Calumet, a few miles from Lake Michigan.

Scientist say if the fish become established in the Great Lakes, they could out-compete native species.

$26 million cleanup starting on contaminated Indiana canal

May 21, 2019
Herbert Reynolds / Provided

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says a $26 million cleanup will begin this month of contamination on the Lake George Canal in northwestern Indiana.

The EPA says sediment will be dredged in Hammond and East Chicago, Indiana. Work is expected to be completed in 2020.

Robert Franklin / South Bend Tribune via AP

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Water levels are surging in the Great Lakes and likely will set records this summer, forecasters said Monday — a remarkable turnaround from earlier this decade that's bringing welcome relief to shippers and marina owners, but causing flooding and heavy erosion in some areas.

GARY, Ind. (AP) — Gary city officials are hoping to attract a developer to turn a plot of land along Lake Michigan into a lakefront destination.

The northwestern Indiana city is seeking bids from developers interested in building hotels, restaurants, tourist-oriented retail, pedestrian-friendly commerce or unique attractions like a science center on the 21-acre site.

Tribune Live website

Today:    It's "Reporters' Roundtable Thursday," and we have both Bill Dolan and Giles Bruce from the "Times of Northwest Indiana" with us to review the stories they prepared for print and the Internet.  From Bill, it includes news on local property assessment notices sent out, and the latest in the Northwest Indiana precinct size reduction issue.  Giles talks about the recent drownings and near-drownings in Lake Michigan and offers up some updates on the medical scene in the Region.

President Donald Trump has overridden an Obama executive order meant to protect the oceans and Great Lakes. It was written in response to the 2010 BP oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico. 

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — U.S. Steel will pay a $600,000 civil penalty and $630,000 to reimburse various federal agencies for costs and damages after one of its plants discharged wastewater containing a potentially carcinogenic chemical into a tributary of Lake Michigan, federal and state officials said Monday.

The U.S. Justice Department said those terms are contained in a consent decree filed Monday in federal court in which U.S. Steel promised to take steps to improve its wastewater processing monitoring system to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and Indiana law.

Heather Eidson / The Times

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — Documents show that U.S. Steel failed to test a Lake Michigan tributary for a potentially carcinogenic chemical after a spill from one of the company's plans in northwest Indiana.

The Chicago Tribune reports the incident was the second time this year that the company's Portage plant dumped chromium into Burns Waterway.

Details about the failed testing were in an inspection report posted online Tuesday by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

Northwest Indiana’s Lake Michigan port will get nearly $10 million from the federal government for infrastructure upgrades to boost its capacity.

The port of Burns Harbor is spending nearly $20 million total to add rail miles and railcar storage, truck handling facilities, dock space and a new cargo terminal. The U.S. Department of Transportation FASTLANE grant will contribute to that.

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