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What's New
As erosion threatens lakefront, North Shore towns seek solutions together
Chicago Tribune (7/27)
For two centuries, man-made structures that jut into Lake Michigan along the shore north of Chicago, Ill., have impeded the natural southward drift of sand, creating buildups in some places, and shortages in others.

EDITORIAL: Definitive lake boundary ruling needed
The Times (6/6)
A property dispute many years in the offing demands a definitive answer from the Indiana Supreme Court.The final decision affects public vs. private land rights to one of our Region's most important natural assets: Lake Michigan beaches and shoreline.

City releases video to warn of drowning dangers in Great Lakes
WKSU - Kent, OH (6/5)
Beaches around the country use a flag system to warn beachgoers about swimming conditions and this season, the city of Holland, Michigan, is trying something new – a video that shows what can happen if someone ignores the red flag.

Michigan shoreline to get $1M fix to fight erosion
The Detroit News (6/5)
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northwest Michigan has outlined a $1 million plan to address severe shoreline erosion next to a historic island lighthouse.

Chicago beaches could shrink this spring, summer due to high water levels
WGN Radio - Chicago, IL (5/30)
In Chicago, Illinois, the city’s beaches could feel a bit more crowded this summer, not because the beach is getting more popular but because some beaches could be getting smaller as a result of Lake Michigan's water level.

Lake Michigan dune controversy reignites as marina, homes proposed
MLive (5/18)
In Saugatuck, Michigan, a potential development on Lake Michigan dunes is raising concerns in the community.

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General Resources
Beach Management Protocol
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
The purpose of this protocol is to assist in the prevention and reduction of water-borne illness and injury related to recreational water use at public beaches, and to assist boards of health in the delivery of local, comprehensive public beach management programs.

Blue Flag Program in Canada
Environmental Defence
Blue Flag is a highly respected and recognized international eco-label. Blue Flags are awarded to beaches and marinas that meet strict criteria for water quality, environmental education, environmental management, and safety and services.

Blue Wave Campaign
Clean Beaches Council
Provides an annual list of beaches which have been certified as clean and healthy for the start of the upcoming summer beach season. The beaches on this year's list have met a new, stricter 56-point set of pilot criteria for cleanliness and environmental health, including tough standards for litter.

Great Lakes Beach Association
Great Lakes Commission
The Great Lakes Beach Association (GLBA) is a collaboration of more than 600 local and state beach managers, working together to improve recreational beach water quality through an informal information-sharing forum.

Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality
Health Canada
Prepared by the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group on Recreational Water Quality of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Health and the Environment.

U.S. EPA BEACH Program
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Program focuses on five areas to meet the goals of improving public health and environmental protection for beach goers and providing the public with information about the quality of their beach water.

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GLRI Beach Sanitary Survey Projects
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO)
Multiple projects were funded by GLRI to assess sources of contamination affecting hundreds of Great Lakes beaches. Several of the projects also involve mitigating the contamination sources, including waterfowl management, replacing impervious pavement with permeable materials, and managing wet weather through green infrastructure approaches such as green roofs and rain gardens. EPA is monitoring the progress of these projects, and housing data collected with the sanitary surveys.

Great Lakes Adopt-a-Beach™ Program
Alliance for the Great Lakes
Adopt-a-Beach™ is the Alliance for the Great Lakes' premier volunteer program, with some 10,000 annual participants ranging from individuals and families to schools and businesses. Teams conduct litter removal and monitoring, and also complete a beach health assessment form that includes science-based observation and testing.

Testing the Waters Annual Survey
Natural Resources Defense Council
Full text and tables of NRDC's annual survey of water-quality monitoring and public notification programs at U.S. beaches.

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State and Provincial Resources
Illinois Bathing Beach Closings
Illinois Department of Public Health
Information on beach inspections, beach and pool closings, and current beach statistics.

Illinois Beach Monitoring and Closure/Advisory Practices
Natural Resources Defense Council
Illinois beach map and information on beach monitoring and closings.

Illinois Beach State Park
Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
Stretching leisurely for six and a half miles along the sandy shore of Lake Michigan in northern Illinois, the park encompasses the only remaining beach ridge shoreline left in the state.

Illinois Department of Public Health Online
Illinois Department of Public Health
Recent news and many more informational links.

The Chicago Park District Swim Report
Chicago Park District
The Chicago Park District manages the city's 31 lakefront and one in-land beach for the enjoyment of Chicago families and visitors.

Indiana Beach Monitoring and Closure/Advisory Practices
Natural Resources Defense Council
Indiana beach map and information on beach monitoring and closings.

Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal Program
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
The purpose of the Lake Michigan Coastal Program (LMCP) is to support coordination and partnerships among local, state, and federal agencies and local organizations for the protection and sustainable use of natural and cultural resources in the Lake Michigan region.

Indiana's Lake Michigan Beaches
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program
Obtain current Lake Michigan water quality conditions at Lake, Porter and Laporte County beaches throughout the swimming season.

West Beach Succession Trail
Save the Dunes Council
The West Beach Trails begin on the beach and end in an oak forest.

Macomb County Beach Closing Data
The Macomb County Health Department
This site provides beach testing results for the past three years. Click on the appropriate link to see beach-specific results.

Michigan Beach Closings: Sources & Solutions
Alliance for the Great Lakes
When beaches close it is usually because of the risk to human health from viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and other microbes that enter Lake Michigan from many different sources.

Michigan Beach Monitoring and Closure/Advisory Practices
Natural Resources Defense Council
Michigan beach maps and information on beach monitoring and closings.

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
This site contains information about Michigan public beaches and recreational-use waterways. Here you will find information about beach closings, monitoring efforts and E. coli test results.

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality – Online Beach Monitoring System
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
To search for a beach or other location, enter any part of the beach name or waterbody name into the search box on the top of this page and click "GO".

Orchard Beach State Park
RING! Online
Situated on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, the park has 176 campsites, swimming beach and trails.

New York Beach Monitoring and Closure/Advisory Practices
Natural Resources Defense Council
New York beach maps and information on beach monitoring and closings.

State Parks/Camping/Day Use
New York State Parks

Surfrider Foundation – State of the Beach state report
Surfrider Foundation
The Surfrider Foundation State of the Beach report is our annual update on the health of our nation's beaches. It is intended to empower concerned citizens and coastal managers by giving them the information needed to take action.

Alerts and Warnings
Ohio Department of Health
Ohio Beach monitoring and safety procedures.

Beach Monitoring Sample Results
Ohio Department of Health
During the summer months selected public beaches along Lake Erie are sampled for E. coli bacteria. This site will allow you to view current sample results and provide you with information to help decide when it is safe to swim.

Chaska Beach
Conceived as a summer cottage resort, the beach, located in Huron, Ohio, is an integral part of the city today.

Cleveland Lakefront State Park
Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
Sand beaches, tree-lined picnic areas and panoramic views of the lake are found within the park along the Lake Erie shoreline.

Ohio Beach Monitoring and Closure/Advisory Practices
Natural Resources Defense Council
Ohio beach maps and information on beach monitoring and closings

Sauble Beach
Sauble Beach Chamber of Commerce
Overlooking Lake Huron, the beach is a perfect summer vacation spot.

Surf the Beaches
Beach Magazine
Provides a map of beaches in Toronto and other related information.

Toronto and Region Conservation - Lake Ontario Waterfront
Toronto and Region Conservation
Lake Ontario waterfront information.

Wasaga Beach
Located at the southern tip of Georgian Bay, it is the longest fresh water beach in the world.

Windsor/Essex Beach Information
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
Current beach information for the Windsor/Essex region of Ontario.

Pennsylvania Beach Monitoring and Closure/Advisory Practices
Natural Resources Defense Council
Pennsylvania beach map and information on beach monitoring and closings.

Presque Isle State Park - Swimming
Presque Isle State Park
The park, located on the Presque Isle peninsula, has seven miles of sandy, guarded, bathing beaches, separated by natural wooded areas.

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Related Resources
GLIN: Boating in the Great Lakes Region
GLIN: Dunes in the Great Lakes Region
GLIN: Hunting and Fishing in the Great Lakes Region
GLIN: Lighthouses in the Great Lakes Region
GLIN: Parks in the Great Lakes Region

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Updated: December 14, 2017
Selected Photos: Copyright ©John and Ann Mahan
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