Portions of the Indiana Dunes National Park, such as Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk, have been heavily hit by erosion. Accessible trails have fallen into the lake, and if no action is taken, the pavilion, roads, and other trails could be next.
The Indiana Dunes is Indiana’s biggest attraction, bringing between 4.5 and five million visitors each year. With over 65 percent of the county's summer travelers visiting the beaches, they make a vital contribution to Porter County's economy. Non-local visitors to the beach contribute over $98 million annually to the county's economy.
Step one in addressing the problem is to obtain funding for a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study that will provide options for implementing a long-term solution. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study requires a local match to pay half of the million dollars required. We need your help.
In this video, you will see how erosion has impacted Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk from 2019 to 2023. You'll notice that sand has been added to replenish the beach, but the area behind the pavilion no longer looks the same. What was once a globally-rare interdunal wetland is now filled with sand that washed in when the lake broke through an eroded dune.
If this problem is not mitigated, it will only get worse.