Lake Michigan had a record number of beach closings this year. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Jonathan Ahl has more:
Lake Michigan had a record number of beach closings last year. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Jonathan Ahl reports.
The Lake Michigan Federation is reporting almost six hundred beach closings on Lake Michigan in 2001. That’s up from just over four hundred last year. Federation director Cameron Davis says most of the closings are due to wastewater carrying bacteria to the lakes when treatment plants are at capacity. He says the solution is to cut back on development near the lakes:
“We need to try to limit the amount of pavement that’s being laid down all across the region, so that rainwater naturally filters through the ground rather than getting shuttled off into a sewage treatment plant.”
Davis says the number of beach closings on Lake Michigan should actually be higher than his report shows. He says Michigan does a poor job testing for bacteria near beaches, and says Wisconsin’s numbers are excluding Sheboygan County where there have been problems in the past. For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Jonathan Ahl.
Lake Michigan beaches were closed more often this summer than ever before. As the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Jonathan Ahl reports, beach closings can translate into significant economic loss:
Lake Michigan beaches were closed more often this summer than ever before. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Jonathan Ahl reports.
A report from the Lake Michigan Federation shows an all-time high of 600 beach closings in 2001. High levels of bacteria found in the water caused most of the closings. Federation director Cameron Davis says in addition to the environmental problems, the closings have an economic impact on the region:
“Take a look at a place like Chicago that gets 60 million visitors a year to the lakefront. And you get a beach closing Labor Day weekend or a fourth of July weekend. You’re looking at millions of people, some from around the world, that can’t visit the beaches here.”
Davis says the bacteria is getting into the water when heavy rains force wastewater and sewage carrying human and animal waste past treatment plants and into the lake. The Lake Michigan Federation is setting up a center to help citizens and community groups solve bacteria problems at beaches. For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Jonathan Ahl.