Casey Ottinger is the Executive Director of the Point Betsie Lighthouse. With his slide presentation he educated us on shoreline protection at Point Betsie.
Point Betsie was up and running in 1859   After only a year of operation the tower's location a few feet from the water's edge was causing an erosion problem that would plague the station throughout the ensuing years. The Coast Guard took over the Lighthouse in 1939, and beginning in 1940 a series of steps were taken to fight erosion of the shoreline, including the construction of a concrete apron and the addition of metal groins, nine of which are still in place. Repairs that were made in the apron in the 1970's constituted the last major repair effort along the shoreline.
Current problems along the shoreline include further deterioration of the concrete apron and extensive damage to the Northern steel wall.  Plans are underway to address the erosion issues at an estimated cost of $7 million to $10 million.  The plan includes:
  • Removal of sheet pile groins
  • Sheet pile wall and concrete beam with stone toe berm
  • Concrete apron replacement
  • Stone splash pad
  • North stone revetment
  • Beach and dune replenishment