Lake Erie board walk at Rondeau Park. May 24, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Cowan Blackburn News Chatham-Kent)

Local Beaches Don’t Need To Close As Often Says GLIER

The Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research finds that beaches across Windsor-Essex are not as polluted as we think.

About 500 water samples gathered in August of last year show there are higher E-coli bacteria levels in the Detroit River than in Lake Erie with some human fecal matter found at Sandpoint Beach in Windsor.

Local beach data finds goose poop is the biggest culprit in closing down beaches but University of Windsor research professor Dr. Daniel Heath says beaches don’t always have to close because they are safer than we think.

Heath says we can now tell the difference between less harmful goose poop in water and more harmful human waste.

“Of course we are worried about human fecal contamination because that’s where most of the diseases come from,” says Heath.

Heath says calls it a successful project with no big surprises.

“I would say the beaches are about what we thought they were. So, not terribly clean,” he says.

Heath says he was surprised that Lake Erie was cleaner than Lake St. Clair.

“There was E-coli at higher levels in the Detroit River area and the small tributaries and ditches that were sampled around there,” Heath says.

Dr. Heath says he wants to sample again this summer but needs at least $10,000 to do it.

He says the goal is to expand the sampling across the Great Lakes but needs $1-million in funding to do it.