Now that summer has finally arrived, the Minnesota Department of Health beach monitoring program has begun. Occasionally “no water contact” advisories are issued for local beaches.
Beach monitoring is conducted at the following beaches in Cook County: Chicago Bay boat launch in Hovland; Paradise Beach, Kadunce Creek, Durfee Creek in Colvill; Old Shore Road, Harbor Park in Grand Marais, Recreation Park campground in Grand Marais, Cutface Creek Wayside Rest; Temperance River State Park, Schroeder Town Park and Sugarloaf Cove Beach in Schroeder. At press time, all had “water contact acceptable” ratings.
MDH monitors beaches all along the North Shore from Duluth to Two Harbors. All have received “no water contact” advisories at some point.
A number of factors, such as dog, geese and other wildlife feces, dirty diapers, failing septic systems and sewer line breaks and overflows, can contribute to higher levels of illness-causing bacteria.
The Minnesota Lake Superior Beach Monitoring Program offers the following tips to minimize risks associated with potential water contamination. Its website recommends waiting 24 hours before going swimming after a heavy rainfall and showering after swimming or recreating at the beach. It also advises that beach goers do not swallow water and that they try to keep face and head out of the water. If possible, the website says to wear earplugs and goggles. Finally, it advises people with weakened immune systems not to swim.
Anyone who becomes ill after contacting beach water is asked to contact the Minnesota Department of Health at (877) 366-3455.
To find the latest results of beach monitoring for North Shore beaches, visit www.MNBeaches.org.