Getting started: Great Lakes beach and water issues

Getting started:

It’s important to know the issues on any new beat. Here are some primers to help you become familiar with beach monitoring, contamination and research issues.

Primers to Great Lakes beach and water issues

Great Lakes Beach Association

Find upcoming events, recent and future conferences

Join the BeachNetdiscussion

                  Look at beach presentations for past conferences


Finding story ideas:

Michigan BeachGuard Database. See related worksheet.

Water Quality and Pollution Control in Michigan Sections 303(d), 305(b), and 314 Integrated Report—Appendix C


Appendix C – Detail – Detailed List of Assessment units not supporting designated uses and are scheduled for a TMDL (Category 5)
Appendix C – Detailed Groups – Detailed and Grouped List of Assessment units not supporting designated uses and are scheduled for a TMDL (Category 5)
Appendix C – Groups – Grouped List of Assessment units not supporting designated uses and are scheduled for a TMDL (Category 5)


Keep up on Great Lakes Restoration Initiative projects—many were assigned to beach health or sanitary survey projects.

Here is the PDF of projects for 2010.

For future searches, go to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Accountability System.

Source list:

From the Great Lakes Beach Association websiteGreat Lakes Beach Conferences:



Conference 2010: Presentation and poster abstracts list (for recent research  and speakers)


Conference 2009: List of conference attendees (for speakers)


Christine Daley
Environmental Health Lead Sanitarian

Chippewa County Health Department
(906) 635-3602


Curt Goodman

Water and Wastewater Superintendent

City of Marquette

906-228-0485 ext. 3


Julie Kinzelman

Health Department Laboratory Director

City of Racine, Wisc.

Board of Directors

Great Lakes Beach Association


julie.kinzelman@cityofracine.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Greg Kleinheinz

Industrial and Environmental Microbiology Laboratory Director

University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh



Jill Lis

Watershed Protection Program supervisor

Environmental Health Services

Cuyahoga County Board of Health

216-201-2001 ext. 1240


Colleen McDermott

Pre-Veterinary Medicine Advisor/Professor

Department of Biology & Microbiology

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh



Sarah U’ren

Program Director

The Watershed Center, Grand Traverse Bay

231-935-1514 ext. 2

(A proactive group tackling water quality in their region with government, municipality, etc.)


Lyman Welch

Manager, Water Quality Program

Alliance for the Great Lakes




Useful websites:

Great Lakes BeachCast

Information on beach closings, data and maps specific to each Great Lakes state.

Center of Excellence for Great Lakes and Human Health

A variety of sites related to beach pollution, human health, beach monitoring organizations and specific information on organizations by state.

Centers for Disease Control – Healthy Swimming

USGS Great Lakes Beach Health Initiative   

Beach health data for Ohio and Wisconsin, a “nowcast” of Ohio recreational beach quality, access to experts from Michigan,  Ohio, Wisconsin and the Great Lakes Science Center.

Beachapedia: State of the Beach reports

Large overview of beach issues, beach indicators, processes, erosion, etc. Can also access state reports for specific issues.

EPA Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Program

Recreation water quality criteria, national reports, national beach conferences, legislation and policy, links to stormwater, drinking, wastewater programs.

Coastal Change Analysis Program Regional Land Cover

The Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP) produces a nationally standardized database of land cover and land change information for the coastal regions of the U.S. C-CAP products provide inventories of coastal intertidal areas, wetlands, and adjacent uplands with the goal of monitoring these habitats by updating the land cover maps every five years.

Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System

Wind, waves, surface current and temperatures, temperature profiles, water levels, ice cover, cloud cover real-time data.

Great Lakes Real-Time Water Temperature Mashup

Displays water temperature readings for various points on the Great Lakes.

Lake Superior Shore Viewer

View the shoreline based on county—high quality images.


State specific:

Michigan State University Pathogen Workshop Series

Learn about pathogens in Michigan water and how they grow there.

Michigan Beach Health Resources

Illinois Beach Health Resources

Indiana Beach Health Resources

Minnesota Beach Health Resources

Ohio Beach Health Resources

Wisconsin Beach Health Resources