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Shoreline Stabilization of South Manitou Island's Lighthouse Complex

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore » Shoreline Stabilization of South Manitou Island's Lighthouse Complex » Document List

The National Park Service (NPS) is preparing an environmental assessment (EA) for shoreline stabilization and rehabilitation at the South Manitou Island Lighthouse Complex (lighthouse complex) within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (the park), in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The purpose of this action is to protect the lighthouse complex by stabilizing the shoreline. The NPS is seeking public comment about potential issues and impacts related to this project.

The lighthouse complex is located on the southeastern shoreline of the island. The previously installed shoreline stabilization materials have been removed by wave and/or ice action or are in poor condition, with many of the foundational elements exposed and subject to additional damage/removal. Action is needed to protect the historic structures. In addition to the compromised stabilization features, wave action over the winter of 2015-2016 resulted in significant shoreline erosion east of the stabilization structures. This shoreline erosion extends east approximately 300 feet and inland 60-80. Approximately 200 linear feet of preexisting boardwalk, which provided access to the lighthouse complex, was washed away. The new shoreline in the eroded area consists of predominately sand banks that are unstable and subject to further erosion. Shoreline stabilization failure and erosion to the east are a serious concern to the nationally significant lighthouse complex, which is a Historic Landmark District. The existing shoreline is approximately 45 feet from the base of the lighthouse and 20 feet from the fog signal building.

Actions for shoreline stabilization would include rehabilitation of the existing shoreline revetment with some modifications to adjust for the recent shoreline changes. This would involve the reuse of existing stone materials as bedding and core materials, installation of geotextile, and new, properly sized and placed armor stone. To the northeast of the existing bin wall, new shoreline protection measures and footprint may take place in response to the shoreline erosion that has occurred since 2015. A combination of stone structures and imported sand would be employed to restore a sandy shoreline where it has existed historically. It is hoped in time that the historic boardwalk would be restored and rehabilitated and incorporated into a universally accessible route to the Fog Whistle Building once the eroded shoreline has been reestablished.

Contact Information

Lee Jameson, Facility Manager
231) 326-4770