Ravine work brings hope for shorelines
By Andrew Schroedter
Illinois Pioneer Press
Officials say the completion of a ravine stabilization
project near the Glencoe Beach will lead to less sediment
run-off into Lake Michigan, where high levels of bacteria
and other pollutants have been a growing concern in past
The project, touted as the first of its kind in the area,
will hopefully lead to an increased awareness about the
threat that erosion poses to the lake, said state Sen.
Susan Garrett, D-29th.
"What we're trying to do is restore the shoreline,"
"By restoring it, it really effects the water quality.
When the ravines come apart, more storm water comes into
the lake and sewers and causes serious problems."
The origin of most natural ravines in the area are similar
to the one under construction at 81 Lakewood Drive in
that they were carved out of the soft earth by melting
glaciers more than a thousand years ago.
But fast forward to today and the idyllic image that
comes to mind of water purling through the ravine's gentle
nooks and crannies is in serious jeopardy.
The result has been an environmental nightmare, Garrett
said, as more and more area beaches close during the summer
months for days or weeks at a time because of high levels
of E-coli bacteria and other pollutants in the water.
Erosion of the ravines are not the only source, but officials
believe that stabilizing its banks will reduce run-off,
known to carry high levels of pollution.
Shabica & Associates Inc., a Northfield-based coastal
consulting firm, have already begun working at the Glencoe
ravine near Lakewood Drive and hopes to have 75 feet of
its banks shored up in about two weeks.
Funding for the project was made possible through a $33,000
grant from the Michigan-based Great Lakes Commission,
and Garrett says she hopes more area restoration projects