How to save the Lake Michigan shoreline

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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This is something I think many readers will be interested in.

A message from U.S. Senator Richard Durbin:

 

Like most Illinoisans, there is a special place in my heart for Lake Michigan. 

But more recently, extreme weather and flooding in Illinois has had a major impact on the environment, infrastructure, and economy of the Lake Michigan shoreline. If this weather continues, it will do untold damage to the future of our beloved Great Lake.

Climate change threatens so much of what Lake Michigan provides to our state: recreation and relaxation by the shore, clean drinking water, and natural beauty. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle must recognize the challenge climate change presents and support legislation that addresses both mitigation and resiliency.

Along with a group of bipartisan senators, I've repeatedly called on the Trump Administration to move forward to fund and complete the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study. This study would identify areas in the Great Lakes that are vulnerable to climate change and recommend measures and infrastructure to increase resilience.

I've also called on the Army Corps of Engineers to help expand the shoreline project to additional sections of the lakeshore and protect against rising lake levels. I recently spoke to Assistant Secretary of the Army (ASA) for Civil Works R.D. James, who oversees the Army Corps, and urged him to make these projects a top priority in this year's budget.

The bottom line is this: we need to wake up and work together to strengthen our shorelines by letting science, not politics, guide our actions. Lake Michigan has been great to us, and it's about time we return the favor.

Teresa Powell

Oak Park

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