2 of nation's cleanest beaches in Minn.? After flooding, maybe not

The rain that flooded Duluth last week also flushed an unprecedented quantity of dirt, pollution and bacteria into Lake Superior. All that nasty debris may have sullied two of the 12 cleanest beaches in America.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Quick -- where are the nation's cleanest beaches? California? Yep -- three of the top 12 are there.

But two of the top 12 are -- or were, before the flooding -- in Minnesota, according to a new report from the National Resources Defense Council, which gave the dozen beaches a "5-star" rating.. The beaches are not far from each other in the Duluth area:

– Park Point Franklin Park / 13th Street South Beach Park Point

– Lafayette Community Club Beach

CNN has a look at America's cleanest and dirtiest beaches.

It's not immediately clear how the flooding might affect the ranking of those Minnesota strands among the nation's finest.

But satellite photos show flooding last week dumped a wide swath of mud and muck streaming into the lake from the Duluth harbor almost all the way to the Apostle Islands, the Star Tribune reports.

“It’s unprecedented, really. No one I’ve talked to has ever seen the lake like this,’’ Erik Brown, acting director of the Large Lakes Observatory at the University of Minnesota Duluth, says in the Duluth News Tribune. “And it wasn’t just on the top. We had people out on the water taking samples and it was the same right down to the bottom at 100 feet deep,” Brown said. “They were recording essentially zero light penetration from the top to the bottom.”

Next Up

covid-19, coronavirus

CDC says COVID-19 quarantine period can be cut to 10 or 7 days

You can come out of a 7-day quarantine following exposure provided you've had a negative test.

maple grove fire

1 person found dead inside Maple Grove business that burned down

A person had been unaccounted following the fire that destroyed Hanson Implement and Storage Tuesday night.

One-dollar bill, cash, money

Appeals court rules MN high school students can get unemployment benefits

They've been denied the benefits, and some were even asked to pay them back.

covid-19, coronavirus

Dec. 2 COVID-19 update: 77 more deaths in Minnesota

The death toll is closing in on 3,700 in Minnesota.

City Pages

Fan creates City Pages archive, Star Tribune tells him to remove it

After word spread that the defunct newspaper's website would go down, a fan created his own copy. Then he got a cease and desist letter.

Adam Thielen

Vikings activate Adam Thielen off COVID-19/reserve list

The star receiver missed last week's victory over Carolina.

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 10.27.14 AM

Naked man shot by St. Paul cop is charged for sexual assault of ex-girlfriend

The 31-year-old suspect remains at Regions Hospital after being shot.

Lindsay Whalen

Whalen's Gophers start season with only 7 players available

Whalen isn't happy that a transfer wasn't granted immediate eligibility to play.

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 9.21.08 AM

Baby steals the show in Minnesota family's viral TikTok video

Definitely busting out that wobbly baby move at the next party...

George Floyd protest

Activist groups release 'The People's Budget,' call for $53M Minneapolis police cuts

The People's Budget, spearheaded by Black Visions Collective and Reclaim the Block, would cut more than $53 million from MPD's budget.

Related

Haul in annual Lake Superior beach cleanup swamps previous record

This summer's floods carried all manner of garbage and debris into Lake Superior. And more than 3,000 pounds of it was removed by volunteers during the annual Beach Sweep of September and October. That triples the previous record in the event organized by the Great Lakes Aquarium and the Ocean Conservancy.

Flood of trash replaces flood waters in NE Minnesota

Now that the waters have abated in northeastern Minnesota following last week's storms, area residents are dealing with a flood of trash. The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District's Materials Recovery Center in Duluth is one of the destinations for the trash, which is coming in from a 530 square mile area covering St. Louis and Carlton counties.

Concerns raised after communications outage during NE Minn. floods

A CenturyLink fiber-optic line break during last month's flooding that resulted in the loss of 911 emergency, landline, cell phone and Internet services has residents in the region concerned and frustrated. The Lake County News Chronicle reports that much of the county and the North Shore went without communications service for 13 hours after the break.

Emergency on Lake Superior as huge waves flood Duluth coast

Canal Park is flooded and the waves could get bigger.

After the flood, life goes on in Duluth; zoo plans to open next week

After the floods in Duluth, an army of volunteers has stepped in to fill a gap between when emergency workers leave and more long-term help arrives. Race routes have been altered, but the events will go on. Biking and hiking trails are open. And the zoo plans to reopen on Friday with most of the park's 483 animals on display.

Feds reject individual flooding aid in NE Minn.

A request for federal individual assistance for Northeastern Minnesota has been denied. W. Craig Engate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told Gov. Mark Dayton in a letter that damage to dwellings from the flooding that began June 19 “was not of such severity and magnitude as to warrant the implementation of individual assistance.” The state has 30 days to appeal the decision. Gov. Mark Dayton "is very disappointed."

Many Duluth homes still not safe; flood damage estimates climbing

Hundreds of residents in the low-lying Fond du Lac area of Duluth still cannot return after massive flooding in northeastern Minnesota this week. Damage estimates are climbing and more rain is expected. Meanwhile, congressional lawmakers pledge federal support. And kids in Duluth opened a lemonade stand to raise money for the Lake Superior Zoo, which was hit hard by the floodwaters.