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Lakeshore plan deserves full consideration

June 6, 2012
The Mining Journal

Marquette residents and visitors to the area are well aware of the beauty of the Lake Superior shoreline and the city's crown jewel of its park system - Presque Isle Park.

Since the early days of the city the "Island," as the park is known locally, has been a prime location for recreation and relaxation.

Marquette pioneer Peter White was the person behind securing the park for the city in the late 1800s, as well as building the shoreline-hugging road leading to it.

Over the years the power of Lake Superior has eroded the shoreline and infringed on the road, which has been protected for many years by a rock wall. That wall has grown higher in recent years, mostly blocking the view of the lake for motorists, bicyclists and walkers.

That could soon change, though, as the city and the Superior Watershed Partnership are developing a plan to remove the 3,000-foot section of rock wall and return the shoreline to its natural state.

To get the effort moving, the city and SWP are using a $58,000 grant from the Michigan Coastal Management Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association for the planning stages.

Included will be public meetings to explain to residents what is being considered for the project and to gather input on the plan.

Included in the proposal will likely be moving the road inland to create a buffer between the waves of Lake Superior and Lakeshore Boulevard. This idea has been kicked around for many years by city officials, and seemed to be more of a possibility once the city obtained the former Cliffs Dow property several years ago.

The actual moving of the road could be down the line a ways, though, because environmental concerns about the tract haven't been addressed to the satisfaction of state and federal regulators.

However, when everything is in order and project gets under way, we are confident the city will keep the area between the road and the lake a pristine, natural stretch of public land for residents and visitors to enjoy.



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