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About Minnesota Lake Superior Beach Monitoring Program

Minnesota is a member of a Coastal Swimming Beach Monitoring Program for coastal recreation waterways, funded by a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant. Lake Superior is Minnesota’s only coastal recreation waterway, and 2003 was the first year monitoring for bacteria along the northern shores of Lake Superior. The program is administered through the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and is a cooperative effort between the MDH, County Health and Environmental departments, local units of government, municipalities, higher education institutions, and private and public organizations along Minnesota’s Lake Superior shore.

The goal of the program is to assure a safe and healthy aquatic recreational environment by informing the water-going public about risk of contracting water-borne diseases from exposure to contaminated waters. The program collects samples from 38 Lake Superior beaches and analyzes those samples for water-borne diseases and human health risks.

The MNBeaches website is a collaborative effort between the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI), Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). This site was designed and is maintained by the NRRI at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, with data and input from the MPCA and MDH as part of the LakeSuperiorStreams.org project. Graphics and website structure developed by Jane Reed and Norman Will; Principal Investigators George Host and Rich Axler, NRRI. The Beach Bacteria Data Viewer and Mapping Utility installed in February 2006 was developed by Norman Will with assistance from Jane Reed, Gerry Sjerven, Rich Axler and George Host. This work was funded by grants from the Minnesota Lake Superior Coastal Program to Heidi Bauman (MPCA), George Host (NRRI-UMD) and Rich Axler (NRRI-UMD).

Technical Advisory Committee (pdf file, 19 KB)

Contact Us for more information about the Minnesota Lake Superior Beach Monitoring Program.