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Wisconsin's Great Lakes Beach Monitoring and Notification Program

123 monitoring sites at public beaches in Wisconsin were sampled for   Escherichia coli (E.coli) bacteria for implementation of the Beaches   Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act of 2   . The   Wisconsin Beach Monitoring and Notification Program's primary goal   is to reduce beach visitors' risk of exposure to disease-causing   microorganisms in water. E.coli bacteria serve as an indicator of   the possible presence of other pathogens in the water, such as   bacteria and viruses. All warm-blooded animals have E. coli in their   feces, so if high levels of E. coli are found in beach water there   is a high chance of fecal matter being in the water. Potential   sources of E.coli contamination at Wisconsin beaches include   agricultural runoff, urban storm water and sewage overflows. In   addition, localized sources from wildlife and waterfowl feces   contribute to high levels of E.coli in both beach sand and water.    Fifteen health departments along Lake Michigan and Lake Superior   sample the water at beaches one to five times per week. An advisory   sign is posted warning swimmers that there is an increased risk of   illness whenever the water quality criterion of 235 colony forming   units (CFU)/1   mL for E. coli is exceeded. A red stop sign that   closes the beach is posted when E. coli levels exceed 1,      CFU/1  mL, indicating a more serious risk of illness. Advisories and  closures may also follow rainfall events or storm water and sewage   overflows. Other factors that may influence E.coli concentrations   include: the nuisance algae Cladophora, wind direction, wave height,   water temperature, and even beach grooming.    Statewide, the summer of 2  6 had more closures and advisories than   2  5, but less than 2  4. In Wisconsin, 17.5% of the samples taken   in 2  6 exceeded the E.coli standard of 235 CFU/1  mL (676 samples   out of 3861 total samples). Approximately 5% of the total samples  exceeded 1    CFU/1  mL and resulted in beach closures.    (beach closures); (beach closure); (beach closings); (beach   closing); (E. coli); (Escherichia coli) 

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Nicole RichmondPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 1 projects
Shaunna M. ChaseResearcher
Associated with 1 projects

Funding 2 projects for a total of $677,199.00

Funding 15 projects for a total of $273,800.00
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Land Use and Habitat
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Michigan
Lake Superior
State Province
Resource Being Monitored
Human Health
Beneficial Use Impairment Assessments
Beach Closings
Eutrophication or Undesirable Algae
Annex Numbers
Pollution from Non-Point Sources
Remedial Action Plans and Lakewide Management Plans
  • Annex Numbers
    Annex Numbers
    Pollution from Non-Point Sources
    Remedial Action Plans and Lakewide Management Plans
  • Annex 17

The Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Research Inventory is an
interactive, Internet-based, searchable database created as a tool to collect and disseminate
up-to-date information about research projects in the
Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region.