Around Rogers Park: January 11 Storm Devastates Beaches at Rogers and Howard Parks


 

As anyone who read RPBG Director Tom Heineman’s excellent article in the Fall Newsletter knows, rising lake levels and the effects of climate change are having a severe impact on Chicago’s shoreline. Rogers Park is one of the neighborhoods that has borne the brunt of Lakefront erosion, given the geography of many of its parks with their small footprints and limited width between city streets and Lake Michigan waves.

On Saturday, January 11th, the neighborhood witnessed an especially strong and devastating storm when gale-forced winds hit the Lakefront. The shocking result of this event was the destruction of two beloved neighborhood beaches at Rogers and Howard Parks. Shortly after this storm, Alderwoman Hadden declare that “the Lake has spoken.” Following the storm, the City’s Department of Transportation (CDOT) expanded the placement of large boulders along the shoreline to protect it from future damage, effectively closing beach access to the public.

Large boulders have replaced beaches along the shoreline to protect it from future storms.

Needless to say, many neighborhood residents (including Tom Heineman and his neighbors along Eastlake Terrace) are unhappy with CDOT’s action. Tom is working with his neighbors and the Alderwoman’s office to find an alternative plan that will allow at least some public access to these beaches as early as this summer. Tom will provide a full account of these efforts in his second installment article about the impact of rising Lake levels on the Rogers Park community. This article will appear in a future newsletter.