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Shoreline erosion the focus of meeting in Manistee

Dustin Dwyer
Michigan Radio

Officials from the federal, state and county government will be at a public meeting in Manistee on Tuesday to talk about shoreline erosion.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Little River Casino Resort in Manistee.

High water levels on the Great Lakes have causedflooding and erosion all along the Michigan coastline this year.

“A lot of folks have stairways that lead down to the beach. Those stairways have been destroyed,” says Brian Gutowski, emergency management coordinator for Manistee County. “We have several homes that are approaching the dropoff, and some of those homes are as much as 100 feet above the beach level.”

Gutowski says he’s been coordinating with other officials along the shoreline to try to come up with solutions for the erosion issues. But it hasn’t been easy. He says the flooding and erosion are slow-moving issues that have been building over time.

“It’s really something that we as emergency managers are trying to put our heads together and figure out how we can address it,” Gutowski says. “But at this point, with the way the system is designed, with the way emergency response and disaster response are designed, it’s been difficult for us.”

Commissioners in Manistee County have requested a disaster declaration from state and federal officials because of the erosion issues. Berrien County commissioners have also made the request.

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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