Keeping Lake Michigan safe for everyone this summer

June 1st, 2012 by
Ensuring safety for visitors to Lake Michigan involves several factors, many departments and people, and a terrific amount of work. And still, unless good, accurate information reaches visitors and people who need it, potential problems can’t be avoided. 
One such concern each summer season is the presence of rip currents – a strong flow of water under the surface that carries away from the shore. Each year, swimmers and surfers in all major bodies of water can be endangered by the presence of these currents. That is why developing a more accurate and immediate way of warning beachgoers about rip currents is incredibly important, and why the National Weather Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, life guards at several beaches, and other organizations are partnering to develop and share information about rip currents. 
From the Northwest Indiana Times: 
“…the National Weather Service’s Chicago office in Romeoville, Ill., and the Northern Indiana office teamed up with beach operators to enhance predicting and warning of rip currents along Lake Michigan’s beaches in an effort to reduce drowning deaths.
In addition to modeling to predict rip currents, forecasters now have the help of lifeguards at beaches at Indiana Dunes State Park in Chesterton, Washington Park in Michigan City, Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer, Mich., and Silver Beach County Park in St. Joseph, Mich. The lifeguards report water conditions twice daily and can see the rip currents in the water from their guard stands.”
Read the complete article here, and find information about rip currents and beach conditions at the Great Lakes Beach Hazards from NOAA. And most importantly, stay safe and have fun this summer at all of the Great Lakes.

In the news: Lake Michigan water trail promises more access for recreation

May 22nd, 2012 by
A proposed water trail along Lake Michigan’s shoreline would improve access to 450 miles of the lakeshore, making it easier for recreationists to enjoy the water. 
From the Journal Sentinel
“The trail will eventually run from the Wisconsin-Illinois border north to the tip of the Door County Peninsula and south along the Green Bay shoreline to the city of Green Bay.
The Lake Michigan Water Trail was selected as one of the top 100 state projects as part of President Barack Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors program that encourages increasing outdoor recreation opportunities close to home.”
The project involves several agencies and could provide expanded opportunities for businesses near the lakeshore.
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