Beaches along Lake Michigan were closed more often this year as a result of high bacteria levels, according to a new report. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah Hulett reports:
Beaches along Lake Michigan were closed more often this year as a result of high
bacteria levels, according to a new report. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah
The report from the Chicago-based Lake Michigan Federation says beach closings and
advisories were at an all-time high in 2002 – at nearly 900 in Wisconsin, Illinois,
Michigan, and Indiana.
Part of the spike can be attributed to more frequent testing in coastal counties. But
Federation director Cameron Davis says an uptick in sewage spills and wastewater
overflows are also to blame. Davis says tracking and cleaning up pollution sources should
be the next step for communities along the Lake Michigan coast.
“That is absolutely key, because right now, so much of the debate has been on monitoring
technology and whether counties are even testing in the first place. We need to start to
move beyond that to identify sources and eliminate them once and for all.”
Davis says Indiana lawmakers recently passed legislation aimed at reducing sewer
overflows. And voters in Michigan are considering whether to approve a billion dollar
bond proposal to repair aging sewers.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Sarah Hulett.