Beach Closures (Great Lakes)
As weather warms up, many people head outside to enjoy local beaches. Not only do beaches and coastal waters provide recreation opportunities for people, they also support diverse wildlife and fisheries. But, did you know that some of the choices you make at home could impact local beaches and cause closures during the summer season?
Viewer Tip: In 2007, beach advisories and closures were issued at 19 percent of all monitored beaches along the Great Lakes Coast (NY, PA, OH, MI, IN, IL, WI, MN) – many of those notifications lasted as long as three to seven days. One contributor to beach advisories and closures is polluted rain water run-off that reaches coastal areas. You can help keep local beaches healthy and open for recreation by following these tips:
- Inspect your home septic system to make sure it is functioning properly. Poorly maintained septic systems can contaminate groundwater and coastal waters with nutrient pollution.
- Use phosphate-free soaps when washing your car at home. If you can, drive the car onto the lawn so that the grass can naturally filter the soapy water.
- Apply fertilizer on your lawn or garden during dry weather and only when necessary. Excess fertilizer can be swept down storm drains with rain water and head right to the coast.
Download image in low resolution
640×360 jpg file
(Sources: EPA, “National Coastal Condition Report IV”, http://water.epa.gov/type/oceb/assessmonitor/nccr/upload/NCCR4-Report.pdf; EPA, “Act: In and Around Your Home”, http://www.epa.gov/nutrientpollution/whatyoucando/act_inhome.html)