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Contamination Insight Into The Effects Of Poor Beach Cleanup

1507 words - 6 pages

Headlines have filled the newspapers throughout the years in Manitowoc County: “Beaches Closed Due to E. coli Levels,” “Five Beaches Test Unsafe for E. coli Bacteria,” and “Eight County Beaches Closed Due to Bacteria Tests.” All of these headlines came from the same year! It’s quite dreadful to watch the five o’clock news and see beaches closed and water contaminated. Lake Michigan is one of the main sources of water, beauty, and tourism to a lakeshore cities and counties like Manitowoc. Having bad water and beaches affects many aspects of life around the county. Wisconsin DNR should change how they clean up Lake Michigan beaches and water, not just in Manitowoc County, because the well-being of the people, the land, and the appeal of Wisconsin are at risk.
The fact that Lake Michigan and its Wisconsin beaches is not a fallacy, every year the same unfortunate thing happens. Beaches get closed down one after another. In this past “summer” season, this occurred multiple times all over the state. The number of closures from the month of May 1st to October 1st was 123 beaches. The number of warnings due to E. coli levels amounted to 281 (“Wisconsin Beach Health”). The total number of closures just in Manitowoc County was thirty-six. That is about 30% of the closures statewide. The number of warnings was forty-two, about 15% of the warnings statewide. It is quite obvious that out of seventy two counties in Wisconsin, eleven of which are lakeside counties, Manitowoc is by far the one with the most beach closures. This is quite a downfall considering tourism is one of Manitowoc’s most profitable incomes. Another downfall of Lake Michigan and the beaches is the blue-green algae issue. As stated on the Wisconsin DNR website, “In Wisconsin, blue-green algae blooms generally occur between mid-June and late September” (Blue Green Algae in Wisconsin Waters). This is prime time swimming months. I was recently at the Neshotah Park beach during the summer, this algae was floating against the shore making it impossible to enter the lake without passing through it. This is a major problem. The Wisconsin DNR knows this because at the top of the webpage, there is bright red large print that read “If you think you are experiencing symptoms related to exposure to blue-green algae, contact your doctor or the Poison Information Hotline right away” (Blue Green Algae in Wisconsin Waters). The DNR also give information about what this alga can cause: stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, fever, muscle weakness, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms are the same for animals, but also include seizures. It is quite disturbing to have this algae and E. coli spread throughout the Lake Michigan lakeshore (Blue Green Algae in Wisconsin Waters). The DNR obviously see the problems occurring if they post warnings about it on their webpage, but each year the same things occur.
A solution is inevitable. The people in Wisconsin should not have to deal with their beaches...

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