Minn., Wis. among worst violators in coastal beach report - Bring Me The News

Minn., Wis. among worst violators in coastal beach report


Beaches in the Great Lakes region had the highest violation rates out of 30 states in an annual report released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council, USA TODAY reports.

Minnesota ranked third worst with 12 percent of beaches monitored along the north shore exceeding the state’s daily maximum bacterial standard in 2012.

However, the report says two beaches in St. Louis County reached "Superstar" status: Park Point Franklin Park/13th Street South Beach and Lafayette Community Club Beach. The five-star status is based on low violation rates, frequent water testing and prompt public notification when there is a problem.

The report also notes that major flooding in Duluth last summer, causing the city's sewage system to fail and forcing the closure of all Lake Superior beaches for two days, may have affected the results.

Wisconsin was one step below its neighbor, ranking 29 out of 30 in water quality at beaches along Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. The reports says 14 percent of all reported beach monitoring samples exceeded the state's daily maximum bacterial standard.

Milwaukee's South Shore Beach was among 11 ocean and Great Lakes beaches that consistently had poor water quality, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, with 43% of water samples exceeding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency advisory standard.

The solution? The environmental advocacy group says tightening federal regulations on polluted stormwater runoff, the most commonly identified cause of beach closings, will help communities keep beaches clean and safe.

Next Up


Report: Ice coverage on Lake Superior down 79 percent since 1973

According to an American Meteorological Society report, the amount of ice covering all the Great Lakes has dropped more than 70 percent over the past 40 winters. The Duluth News Tribune reports the study doesn't include the 2011-12 season. As of this winter, only about five percent of the Great Lakes froze. The lead researcher says a lack of ice coverage can reduce water levels, damage water quality and accelerate shoreline erosion.

Minn., Wis. millions of dollars apart on tax deal as deadline approaches

Minnesota and Wisconsin have until Oct 1. to agree how much money the Badger State should pay Minnesota for tax reciprocity. The Pioneer Press reports Minnesota revenue officials have pegged the figure at $96 million, but Wisconsin's estimate is $55.6 million. Roughly 60,000 Wisconsin residents work in Minnesota, while 20,000 Minnesotans work in Wisconsin. In February, the two states reached an agreement in principle that would allow residents who live in one state and work in the other to file one state income tax return.

Drought emergency grips Wis.; SW Minn. crops hurting, too

There was some rain in southwest Minnesota Friday, but not enough to help much in what has become a serious drought in that part of the state. Crops and livestock are hurting. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker toured farms on Friday after declaring a drought emergency statewide.