Several citizens’ groups around southern Lake Michigan released A Prescription for Healthy Beaches in May to help individuals understand what they can do to reverse the trend of mounting beach closures. The release coincided with the official opening of the Great Lakes beach season on the Friday before Memorial Day. The announcement follows Lake Michigan Federation research showing a record-high 601 beach closings in 2001 from bacterial pollution around Lake Michigan.
“Beach closings from bacterial pollution are reaching disturbing highs,” said Federation Executive Director Cameron Davis. “If we want Great Lakes beaches to continue to be a major national asset, there are easy things each of us can do in our lives to be part of the solution”. The Lake Michigan shoreline is a major international attraction, receiving an estimated 60 million visits annually in Chicago alone.
The Prescription suggests action steps individuals can take to keep beaches open. These steps include reduction of inputs into combined sewer systems, refuse management at beaches, and increased interaction with local beach management and health agencies. You can download the Prescription at www.lakemichigan.org/beach_center/prescription.pdf