Lead forecaster, parks expert to discuss record-high Great Lakes water levels during GVSU virtual presentation

The lead forecaster on Great Lakes water levels for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a planning leader for Ottawa County Parks will discuss the impact of rising lake levels during a Grand Valley State University virtual presentation.

"Confluence Conversations: Rising Great Lakes Water Levels" is presented by GVSU's Making Waves initiative. Deanna Apps, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Curtis TerHaar, coordinator of park planning and development for Ottawa County Parks, will give presentations and participate in a Q&A.

The free virtual event is from 7-8 p.m. on Oct. 20. Learn more information and RSVP on the event website.

The presentation will address both water levels and the resulting coastal flooding and erosion that have extensively damaged lakeshore properties and recreational areas. Experts will present both data and images to show the impact.

A Lake Michigan beach
High water levels have greatly affected beaches, such as this one at Rosy Mound Natural Area in Ottawa County.
Image Credit: Amanda Pitts

Apps will give a presentation titled “Rising Great Lakes Levels.” TerHaar will speak on lakeshore erosion and impacts to those parks.

This talk is part of a series planned by organizers of the Making Waves initiative to explore water-related issues affecting not only Grand Valley but the region as a whole, said Peter Wampler, professor of geology and a leader of the Making Waves initiative. The presentations will be geared to provide information for both GVSU and West Michigan community members.

"We want to provide resources for the community and also provide a way for Grand Valley students to hear about compelling local issues," Wampler said.

Making Waves is a university-led collaboration among students, faculty, staff and the community to explore the ways water touches our lives. The initiative includes research, activities and events as well as collective learning on campus and beyond.