Lake Erie and bluff erosion
Eroded bluff and Lake Erie coastline. (Bluff photo: Courtesy of Lisa Kenion)

Extreme weather is taking a toll on coastlines – and not just along the oceans. Lisa Kenion lives in Euclid, Ohio …

Kenion: “… right about three doors away from Lake Erie.”

At the end of her street, a tall, grassy bluff overlooks the water. Kenion and her neighbors collectively own that land and the beach below.

Kenion: “The bluff is about thirty feet tall so we have like a little stairwell that goes down. And we have like a little boat house that’s about halfway down the incline.”

But during heavy rain this past spring, a long narrow strip of the bluff collapsed and washed down the steep slope to the water, like a small landslide.

This type of bluff erosion is getting worse as climate change causes more extreme storms and heavy precipitation. Waves and high water eat away at the base of lakeside cliffs, weakening the land above and making it more likely to collapse during storms.

'We can't control more and more intense rain events.' Click To Tweet

Kenion’s community is working to stabilize the soil by planting trees and letting grasses grow long. But …

Kenion: “… we can’t control more and more intense rain events.”

So as the climate changes, many coastal property owners – both on the ocean and along lakes – will find their homes at risk.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Topics: Weather Extremes