Lake Michigan

Indiana’s ports move millions of tons each year of the stuff that’s made and used at Midwest factories, including steel, grains and coal. The three ports – one on Lake Michigan and two on the Ohio River – connect Indiana to the national and global economies, and each has to find its own ways to keep up with change.

For the first part of a three-part series, we visited the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor to see how it’s secured its place in the steel industry.

Ownership of beach property on Lake Michigan is in the balance in a lawsuit heard before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday. The case centers on the question of public versus private property, and it could have far-reaching consequences.

Josh Mogerman / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jmogs/14142287984

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is considering a penalty against BP's large refinery in the Lake County town of Whiting.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management could fine BP up to $25,000 for each of the three violations. 

The BP Whiting Refinery operates along the shore of Lake Michigan. The refinery is permitted to discharge up to 5,700 pounds of wastewater pollutants into the lake every day. The pollution is a combination of scum, debris, and wastewater from normal refining operations.

Nick Janzen

This election year, a wall between Mexico and the United States is causing a stir.

But in northern Indiana, a different kind of wall has been roiling waters.

Along the Lake Michigan shoreline in LaPorte County, groups of residents are battling over the consequences of building sea walls -- which keep water from encroaching on land.

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Nick Janzen reports the fight may turn on what “private property” actually means.

Lake Michigan Water At Highest Level In 16 Years

May 27, 2016
Ralf Huelsmann/WIki Commons

Lake Michigan’s water level is currently a foot higher than its long-term average of 578.8 feet. Lead forecaster at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Detroit District Lauren Fry points to higher than average rain and snow levels.

“The reason they’re so high really started during 2013 and 2014 when the lakes had above average water supplies,” she says.

With more water entering the lakes, and the same amount of water leaving the lakes, water levels have gone up.

Annie Ropeik/Indiana Public Broadcasting

 

A property rights battle over public access to Indiana's Lake Michigan shore is moving forward with a new issue in the mix -- erosion.

Patricia Sharkey's home in the LaPorte County town of Long Beach is about a block away from a stretch of huge lakefront summer houses. In 2013, homeowners there sued the state, contending their private property extends all the way to the water.

Studying Lake Michigan's currents

Jul 25, 2013
Cary Troy / photo provided

A team of researchers at Purdue is getting a better understanding of the currents in Lake Michigan.

Cary Troy, assistant professor of civil engineering, and four students spent most of last week on the lake taking measurements. He says they used a dye to trace the movements of the water in the deepest part of the southern basin.