MICHIGAN CITY – The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has released its 21 annual report on beach cleanliness in the United States, and Indiana ranked 26th for the percentage of samples that exceeded the national standard for cleanliness.
There were 406 closing and advisory days last year, up from 387 in 2009. Most closing and advisory days were the result of unknown sources of pollution.
Beaches with the highest rates in 2010 were Jeorse Park Beach 1 (75 percent) and Jeorse Park 2 (67 percent) in Lake County; Mount Baldy at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in LaPorte County (32 percent; Buffington Harbor Beach in Lake County (28 percent); Indiana Dunes State Park East Beach in Porter County and Hammond Marina East Beach in Lake County (21 percent); and Whihala Beach West in Lake County (20 percent).
“Most of Indiana’s beach closings in the report are attributed to unknown causes. There are numerous sources of E. coli to our beaches and identifying the cause of an exceedance is rarely simple,” said Jen Birchfield, director of the Save the Dunes Water Program. “We do know that storm water runoff and combined sewer overflows are two common culprits in the Great Lakes region and nationwide.”