Aug. 17 Public Meeting on Lake Michigan Bluffs/Higher Water Levels

The University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute is hosting a public meeting from 5 – 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 17, at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, 1111 E. Brown Deer Road in Bayside. Members of the public are invited to participate as part of an ongoing study regarding changing Lake Michigan water levels and coastal bluff management. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m.

“We want to hear the hopes, wishes, concerns and issues involved in healthy and vital coasts, bluffs and ravines for our Lake Michigan coastal communities,” said David Hart, project lead from Wisconsin Sea Grant.

The northern Milwaukee County villages of Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, Fox Point and Bayside are characterized by high coastal bluffs and ravines that are vulnerable to physical forces, which could result in collapse. Given the rise of Lake Michigan’s water levels—beginning in 2013 following a long period of low water levels—the bluffs could be even more susceptible to failure due to erosion.

A diverse team coordinated by Wisconsin Sea Grant is reviewing scientific data and gathering public input about bluff management as part of an 18-month study. The result will be the identification and prioritization of a set policy options and decision tools for local governments and adaptive actions by coastal property owners that lead to more resilient bluffs and ravines, while maintaining healthy coasts.

The project is part of a broader study of Great Lakes water levels led by the Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan. For more information on this project, visit