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Saturday, August 14, 2021 at the Haworth Hotel, Holland, Michigan


Presentation by Edgewater Resources:  Acting President Smithe welcomed Jack Cox, Director of Engineering for Edgewater Resources in St. Joseph, Michigan.  Jack has a long background in coastal engineering with engineering degrees from Purdue University, the University of Chicago and the University of Delaware. 

Jack opened his presentation by stating three methods of fighting erosion:

  1. Build a wall
  2. Beach nourishment
  3. Strategic structures

However, there are negative effects of using some of these methods.  When a wall is built, beaches are lost.  Beach nourishment is expensive and there is not enough sand available.  However, building strategic structures and working in concert with Nature is a more desirable method that is more sustainable, affordable and compatible with the surroundings.  He then described several projects where offshore “islands” were constructed to absorb wave energy before it hits the shore.  After talking about several different methods of using the principles of Nature to design their projects, Jack
ended his presentation and introduced Edgewater President Greg Weykamp who described a pilot project that Edgewater Resources is working on at St. Joseph, Michigan.  Some of the factors:

  1. EGLE does not deny offshore projects—so far, no permits have been requested for this type of project.
  2. May require a bottomlands lease
  3. EGLE requires all adjacent landowners to agree on work to be done
  4. There is a maintenance responsibility – who will maintain?
  5. Navigational concerns
  6. Visual impacts
  7. Assessment of environmental impacts


  1. How high would a structure be built?
  2. What is recommended for private homes?  Look at Douglas Beach project; for short-term fix, use Geo-tubes, but they must be removed.
  3. Navigation issue? These structures would be marked.  It is boater’s responsibility to note navigational hazards.
  4. What about icebergs?  Structures can be engineered to withstand ice.
  5. What is a Geo-tube?
  6. Lake Levels?  Problem is still there – it just moves.
  7. Cheapest way?  Offshore reclamation – trucking in loads of sand is much more expensive

Please note this article is for information purposes only to Great Lakes Coalition membership and not as an endorsement of this or any other coastal/marine contractor. 


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