Lake Michigan Coastal Erosion Response

Team Members

  • Bryanna Bourelle
  • Allyson Boyle
  • Boston Kuchar
  • Temuulen Shinezorig
  • Dena Youssefnia

Project Description

The objective of this project is to create a paradigm shift surrounding solutions to the continuous erosion of the Lake Michigan shoreline. One method of combating shoreline erosion developed in 2011 in the Netherlands is known as the Dutch Sand Motor. This nature-based alternative has spread to the United Kingdom and the United States after being touted for its low cost, safety, and ecological soundness. Analysis of the costs versus advantages of the Dutch Sand Motor shows steady improvements in the three aforementioned criteria when compared to other erosion solutions. The Sand Motor experiment is a mega-nourishment of material, in this case, sand, that relies on natural forces for redistribution along an eroding shoreline. Our aim is to explore a Sand Motor pilot project around Lake Michigan, particularly along the shoreline of the Illinois State Beach Park. We plan to investigate the qualifications of a number of environmentally friendly materials for use in a motor design. The material will be selected based on the cost, gradation, availability, and manner of acquisition of each material. The exact location was chosen based on environmental factors, the erosional state of the surrounding shoreline, and the size, shape, and purpose of the strip of shoreline in question. The design aspect of this project includes choosing materials, designing the size and shape of our mega sand nourishment, and establishing a cost estimate for the project. These design aspects will be assembled through data analysis, research, and comparison to the Dutch Sand Motor.

See supporting documentation in the team’s Box drive.

Project Video