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GLIN==> Is it safe to swim?

Contact: Christine Manninen, manninen@glc.org

Introducing Great Lakes BeachCast: www.glin.net/beachcast

Ann Arbor, Mich. -- Great Lakes beachgoers can now access an internet gateway to information on Great Lakes beach conditions, including health advisories, water temperature, wave heights, monitoring data and more. BeachCast, a service of the Great Lakes Commission and its Great Lakes Information Network (GLIN), is now available at www.glin.net/beachcast

Users of the site can search by lake or state/province for their beach of choice and view locational maps, current advisories and related resources. Also included are answers to Frequently Asked Questions such as “What is E. coli?”, “How is the beach water tested?” and “How do the bacteria get in the water?” Tips for how to keep beaches clean and news about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) BEACH Program and related research and monitoring initiatives are featured as well. A beach search by zip/postal code will be added in August 2003.

“This project offers Great Lakes residents and visitors a quick online reference for information about current beach conditions and related human health questions,” says Mike Donahue, president/CEO of the Great Lakes Commission. “Beach closures are an issue of increasing importance in the Great Lakes region, and the Commission is pleased to work in partnership with U.S. EPA and state and municipal beach managers to highlight beach monitoring data and news for the larger Great Lakes community.”

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2003, GLIN has been recognized as the primary gateway on the Web to Great Lakes-related news, issues, organizations and activities. Its usage has grown remarkably and now averages more than 4 million hits per month. In addition to environmental data, GLIN provides information about the regional economy, tourism and recreation opportunities, state and provincial demographics, and educational resources.

BeachCast is funded through a grant from the U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office, in collaboration with beach managers working through the Great Lakes Beach Association (GLBA). The GLBA is presently made up of members from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Environment Canada and several Midwest universities and non-government agencies. Local, county and state public health and regulatory agencies, researchers and environmental groups are also involved. GLIN hosts the GLBA web site at www.glin.net/glba

The Commission continues to pursue beach management partnerships among the states to streamline real-time monitoring efforts and annual data reporting to meet the mandates of U.S. EPA’s BEACH Act.

Contact: Christine Manninen, manninen@glc.org


The Great Lakes Commission, chaired by Samuel W. Speck (Ohio), is a nonpartisan, binational compact agency created by state and U.S. federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong economy, healthy environment and high quality of life for the Great LakesSt. Lawrence region and its residents.  The Commission consists of state legislators, agency officials and governors’ appointees from its eight member states.  Associate membership for Ontario and Québec was established through the signing of a “Declaration of Partnership.”  The Commission maintains a formal Observer program involving U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities, binational agencies and other regional interests.  The Commission offices are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.