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Study was off base

August 8, 2012
The Mining Journal

To the Journal editor:

A study has been funded to restore the rocky portion along Lakeshore Boulevard, possibly as a beach and endorsed by The Mining Journal editorial on June 6. I feel the study is misguided. The rocks there don't bother me except where I can't see over them.

If the old beach disappeared, what makes us think we can restore it at any price? We have enough beaches now. I believe we should lower the height of the rock wall so walkers, bikers, and vehicle occupants can see the Lake. I do not want the road moved inland.

The speed limit should be reduced from 35 mph to 25 mph, considering cars are passing a few feet from pedestrians, bikers, children, and pets. This is mostly a scenic drive. Perhaps raise the roadbed a little but don't move it. We love our Lakeshore drive right where it is.

A more important Marquette shoreline issue deserves our attention. Our view of the Lake along much of our shoreline, from the rock cut to Presque Isle Park is blocked by weeds, undergrowth, shrubs, random trees with low branches, and those ugly Lombardy poplars.

This poplar is not native to the United States and is considered a "hazardous tree" because of all the dying branches. In fact, it's not even a tree. I consider Lombardy

Poplars an invasive species as it seems to sprout everywhere, like a weed. It is short-lived, expensive to maintain by the city with dead branches falling, and never looks pretty, even in the fall when other tree leaves turn color.

A good example of a blocked view is the turnout by the LS&I ore dock where you can hardly see the ore carriers, a big attraction. It's probably We Energies property but with a little effort, they might clean up that area. People are drawn to water.

That's why many of us live here. The shoreline drive from the south is the first impression of tourists. Some may say this unchecked growth is nature's way to prevent soil erosion but there are better ways to do that. The city has an arborist I would hope could help.

In summary, knock down the rocks along the shoreline to permit us to view our precious Lake, don't move our road, and get rid of those ugly, invasive Lombardy poplars and much of the random growth which blocks our lake view.

Joseph Buys




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