Wakeboarders blamed for eroding Lake Benedict Shoreline

Look out from their deck and the waters of Lake Benedict spread out in sun-glittered splendor, an azure expanse punctuated by sailboats and songbirds and in the distance, the shoreline of the lake’s northern side.

Looking down from their deck, lake residents along 93rd street watch in horror as wave upon wave crashes at the shore, sloughing slabs of earth into the water. They are hoping the Town of Randall can find a way to help.

While most residents of the area have fond memories spending long, hot summer days on the lake, water-skiing and boating, few expected a phenomenon known as wakeboarding. The sport is a liquid version of snowboarding and the hottest thing on the water today. Boosted nationally by ESPN’s “X-Games” highlighting young, strong and attractive wakeboarders, the sport has grown dramatically over the past decade and often utilizes artificial wake enhancement.

It is by filling ballast tanks in special boats, using hydrofoils that pull down the stern or loading extra friends in the back of the boat that gives the most wave action, and causes the most damage say residents who state their once peaceful waterway is quickly becoming a noisy nightmare.

Several residents encouraged the board to increase wave markers from 150 feet to 200 feet or enact strict regulations prohibiting artificial wake enhancement, similar to the ordinance recently drafted by the Village of Thiensville and the Cit of Mequon.

While no action was taken at the meeting, the Randall Town Board will confer with the Lake District to determine a solution to the property erosion problem, already estimated to have affected one-quarter mile of shoreline.


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