Contact:
Shelli DiFranco
The Watershed Center
sdifranco@gtbay.org
231.935.1514 ext. 5

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HEALTHY BEACHES PROGRAM CONCLUDES FOR 2018 SEASON

SAMPLES WERE WITHIN WATER QUALITY STANDARDS 96% OF THE SUMMER

 

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – October 15, 2018 – The Watershed Center’s Healthy Beaches program, which monitors Great Lakes and inland beaches for E. coli bacteria, has concluded its 2018 season.

“All in all, we had a spectacular season for our Healthy Beaches program,” said Sarah U’Ren, program director at The Watershed Center. “We saw 12 beach advisories on five different days this summer that were mainly due to strong storms with heavy rainfall moving through the area. This means that 96% of the samples taken were well within water quality standards.”

The Healthy Beaches program included taking samples from 32 beaches during the thirteen week season. The longest advisory was for Sunset Park beach in Traverse City and lasted for two days in early August.

“We had a very wet August,” said U’Ren. “With rainstorms, we usually expect to have some advisories posted at beaches located next to storm drains.  This is because the rain washes pollutants like oils, trash, and bacteria off the roadways and parking lots into the storm drains and out into the bay.” Sunshine kills the bacteria and nearly all beach advisories are lifted the following day after being re-tested.

Funding for the Healthy Beaches program comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency BEACH Act Funds as well as the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Michigan Initiative, the City of Traverse City, and Acme Township.

 

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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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