Preserving Great Lakes Beach Sand

Memorial Day is the traditional start of beach season, although the water is bound to give you the chills this early in the summer/late in the spring. A recent trip up the coast of Lake Huron had me talking with a guy who runs one of the many resorts in the Oscoda area of Northeast Michigan. But what’s with those orange gates?

Is this beach under construction?

No, the resort owner explained. The gates are to keep the beaches from losing their sand. Without the gates, much of the sand here will get washed away during the inevitable storms on Michigan’s Sunrise Side.

There used to be lots more sand on this particular beach, before the owner started putting up gates. He bought the resort after retiring from an auto-related business, and found out about the “need” for gates the hard way.

An internet search for info on “preserving beach sand” and “Great Lakes gates” didn’t yield any results for me. But the technique seems to be in wide use, judging from all the other gates up and down the coastline. They’ll probably be dismantled, like this one, in time for beach season.

More on Beaches

Michigan Sea Grant

Great Lakes Information Network

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