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Algoma uses grant money for beach improvements

Crescent Beach overlooking Lake Michigan, March 18, 2016 (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

Improvements are in-the-works for a popular Lakeshore attraction.

Crescent Beach in Algoma received a $75,000 grant for the upgrades.

On a two-mile stretch of Lake Michigan sand and surf, Crescent Beach can be considered a centerpiece of Algoma.

"It's a beautiful beach. It has a lot of amenities. We got a volleyball area, we've got a great walking area," said Jeff Wiswell, Algoma City Administrator.

Wiswell says there are some problems. Every time it rains, Crescent Beach becomes a catch basin.

"It would be the south half of the City of Algoma that drains into these outfalls. And then they make their way down kind of haphazardly to the lake," said Wiswell.

But Wiswell says help is on the way. The city recently received a $75,000 grant from the Fund for Lake Michigan, a private foundation whose mission is to improve the health of Lake Michigan.

"Algoma is a smaller community. So to deal with the challenges, they needed some outside help. And we were happy to provide some funding to do that," said Casey Eggleston, Fund for Lake Michigan Program Officer.

The city will re-route the storm water to a new retention pond on the north end of the beach. The water will be treated and released into the lake.

"We're trying to maybe clean-up 85-90 percent of water that comes through there. That's a huge deal," said Wiswell.

The phase is part of a long range plan for the beach. Wiswell says the six year initiative could total a half million dollars.

"The beach again is central to this. If you ask people anywhere along the water, they'll tell you it's a million dollar view. So we want to protect our natural assets, and our natural beauty," said Wiswell.

City leaders say design, and engineering will take time.

At the earliest, construction on the project could begin later this summer

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