TWO RIVERS, Wis. (WFRV) Record high water levels on Lake Michigan have taken a big bite out of a very popular beach. But leaders in Two Rivers say they have no choice – but to make the best of it.
On a hot summer day in Two Rivers, Neshotah Beach can draw quite a crowd.
“On a good hot day you’d have 3,000 or 4,000 people gathered down here,” said Greg Buckley, Two Rivers’ city manager.
But thanks to record high water levels on Lake Michigan Buckley says this year, at times, those crowds might have a problem finding room because 80 percent of this beach is covered by water.
“This beach should look like 300 plus feet or 100 yards plus of sand, from the sidewalk here out to the edge of the water,” Buckley said.
In the last 10 year Two Rivers has invested a half a million dollars into this park to make it a regional attraction. But soon they may have to invest even more – to create additional beach area.
“Like these parking lots not being here, if indeed this piece of real estate is going to stay that close to the water,” said Buckley. “Our vast preference would be for the lake to move farther away, but obviously we don’t control that.”
But these high waters aren’t just keeping beachgoers from enjoying this view. It’s also forced a popular Labor Day weekend event to move.
For 14 years Chow Chung has held his Kites over Lake Michigan event at Neshotah Beach, but this year he doesn’t have the room he needs.
“Last year we had about 52 feet, this year we’re lucky if we have 30 to 35 feet,” Chung said.
And now thousands of people will head to Two Rivers High School instead to watch these kites fly.
“We hope it’s going to be a cycle, where it will slowly decrease. How long will that be, we don’t know,” Chung said.
Buckley says while it’s not a 300 foot deep beach – it’s still a good 30 feet with an awesome view.
“We’ve dubbed this the best beach in Wisconsin,” he said.
You just need to anticipate there is a little less of it.
If lake levels remain high next year, Buckley says Two Rivers may have to seriously look at finding a long-term solution