Coastal damage along Lake Michigan will cost Illinois communities over $600 million to fix thanks to climate change

Coastal damage along Lake Michigan will cost Illinois communities over $600 million to fix thanks to climate change
Photo credit Aisha I. Jefferson/ WBBM Newsradio

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — A survey of 12 Illinois cities, villages and other jurisdictions along Lake Michigan showed that coastal damage from climate change will cost at least $608 million over the next five years.

More than $250 million has already been spent by lakefront communities repairing damage and shoring up shorelines.

"This is just municipal property that's being reported on and the $608 million reported is throughout the lakeshore. So it's not just Chicago, it goes all the way up the lake. So it's affecting all the way up to Zion, North Chicago, etcetera. You know, there's significant damage in Evanston. But of course, the city of Chicago is huge," Jonathan Altenberg, executive director of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, told WBBM Newsradio.

For the entire Great Lakes, the cost estimate is $2 billion.