Skip to main content

Placing erosion control structures on Great Lakes

Waterway protection

The area where land and water meet on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior is the most critical space for fish and wildlife habitat and recreational use. Great Lakes shorelines have many coastal influences that are more like oceans than our thousands of inland lakes. The department understands landowner and municipality concerns about structures that may be at risk from bluff and dune erosion on the Great Lakes and recognizes the large investments residents have in their homes. Shore protection projects are a significant investment and have the potential to impact neighboring properties and the nearshore environment. This information can help landowners invest wisely and protect the Great Lakes environment.

Revised Emergency Situations for Coastal (Great Lakes) Shorelines

The DNR has revised the streamlined temporary erosion control placement authorization process intended for emergency situations for coastal (Great Lakes) shorelines. To be eligible for the Emergency Lakeshore Erosion Control Emergency Authorization the site shall be either Category 1 or 2.

Category 1: A house, sanitary system or critical infrastructure on a property that is experiencing active and/or accelerated erosion and located within 75 feet of the top of the bank or bluff.

Category 2: A house, sanitary system or critical infrastructure on a property that is in imminent danger. Imminent danger means a situation exists which reasonable could be expected to cause a direct threat or hazard to a house, sanitary system, or critical infrastructure if stabilization methods are not quickly taken.

Submit a Great Lakes Emergency Erosion Control Request

Review the information contained in the Great Lakes Emergency Erosion Control Request – Critical Information Checklist and submit the required information outlined in the checklist to:


Note: Do not start work until you receive an e-mail authorization from the department allowing you to proceed. We will contact you as soon as we can and strive to respond within 48 hours of submittal of the requested information wherever possible.

Determine the requirements for Great Lakes shoreline projects.

Learn about the processes that cause erosion on the Great Lakes.

Contact information
Questions about placing material in the Great Lakes for erosion control should be directed to the water management specialist for your area.
» County water management specialists