As lake levels rise, shoreline erosion a real concern for Rogers Park residents

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CHICAGO — After big storms brought big waves crashing against Juneway Beach in Rogers Park, residents said Sunday they’re concerned about eroding shorelines creeping towards their homes.

Water levels in Lake Michigan are running high this year, and when they’re topped with huge, devastating waves, they can buckle concrete shorelines and pull parts away.

For two years, Jenny Leaner has lived as close as you can to Lake Michigan. But, she says she’s noticed a big hole in the shoreline is inching closer and closer to her home. Now it’s just a few feet away from the fence marking her property.

“I’ve seen the beach completely disappear, and then a year ago they tried to fix some of the cement. I watched that completely fall,” Leaner remembers. “I started getting nervous because it’s closer and closer to our house.”

According to a letter shared with WGN, the Chicago Park District and the Army Corps of Engineers will be working hand and hand to try and stop the erosion at Juneway Beach starting Monday.

Tonia Andreina lives nearby, and the sustainable landscaper said she she understands the city’s plan of installing big boulders to break up huge waves.

“If they weren’t doing this, yes, it’s a step in the right direction; we would have this entire area completely decimated within a couple of years,” Andreina said.

The emergency work will likely not bring the beach back but it should stop the hole from inching towards Jenny’s building.

The work is expected to take five weeks, and there are at least two other beaches in need of some work in the area as well.


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