GRAND TRAVERSE REGION BEACH TESTING BEGINS JUNE 14
THE WATERSHED CENTER TO SAMPLE 17 GREAT LAKES BEACHES THROUGH SEPTEMBER 6

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – June 12, 2017 – The Watershed Grand Traverse Bay will begin its annual beach testing on June 14. Seventeen area Great Lakes beaches will be tested every Wednesday through September 6.

Beach test results will be available by noon on Thursdays and posted shortly thereafter on the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s BeachGuard website as well as The Watershed Center’s Facebook page, and the Grand Traverse County Health Department website. If test results show high bacterial levels, beaches will be posted as necessary by local Health Departments and immediately re-tested.

Elevated bacteria levels, including E. coli, at beaches pose a threat to public health and cause illness, especially in young children and people with comprised immune systems.

“We’re proud to continue to offer this service within our watershed,” said Sarah U’Ren, program director at The Watershed Center. “Testing bacteria such as E.coli is an important part of keeping our residents, visitors, and beaches healthy. By comparing the information we collect this summer with that of the last 15 years of data, we’re able to better predict which beaches may see elevated bacteria levels after rain events, thus protecting public health.” The Watershed Center also uses this data to support restoration projects to reduce bacteria levels at local beaches.

Funding for beach monitoring comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency BEACH Act Funds as well as the City of Traverse City and Acme Township. Testing will be conducted at the following beaches:

Grand Traverse County:

  • West End Beach
  • Clinch Park
  • Bryant Park
  • East Bay Park
  • Traverse City State Park
  • Acme Bayside Park
  • Senior Beach
  • Sunset Park
  • Volleyball Beach
  • Sayler Park
  • Dock Road

Benzie/Leelanau County:

  • Empire Beach
  • Frankfort Beach
  • Northport Beach
  • Suttons Bay South Shore Park
  • Suttons Bay Marina Park Beach
  • Greilickville Harbor Park (Elmwood Park)

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The Watershed Center is a non-profit organization that advocates for clean water in Grand Traverse Bay and acts to protect and preserve its 1,000-square mile watershed, which covers portions of Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Antrim, and Kalkaska counties. Learn more at www.gtbay.org.

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