A month after the catastrophic floods, advisories or closures remain in place at 17 beaches in Michigan's Western Upper Peninsula where high levels of bacteria have been detected.
Dozens drown every year in the Great Lakes, and most Michigan beaches lack lifeguards. Hear an interview of Bridge Magazine discussing the problem.
At least 640 people have drowned on the Great Lakes since 2010. We know that because of Bob Pratt, a former East Lansing fire marshal who’s on a mission to make Great Lakes beaches safer.
Michigan towns along the Great Lakes have eliminated lifeguards at public beaches in recent years, increasing risks, safety advocates say. In New Buffalo, officials briefly considered the idea. Then came the backlash.
Dozens die each year in waters that can be fiercer than oceans. Most are men. Most aren’t wearing life jackets. Those aren’t the only surprises.
Unsightly and unhealthy, algae blooms imperil drinking water for entire cities. There’s a plan to address them, but no timeline or resource estimate. In other words, not much.
Despite broad public support for protecting Michigan’s natural beauty, state and federal budget cuts may stall projects in a state that, after the Flint water disaster, has become synonymous with environmental risk.
We can’t pollute our greatest resource with what amounts to untreated sewage. Fish farming is sustainable and safe in better-chosen places – like urban-farming Detroit, perhaps.