EPA's  BEACH  Report:
              Minnesota  2009  Swimming  Season
              May 2010
Introduction
The BEACH Act of 2000 requires that coastal
and Great Lakes states and territories report to
EPA on beach monitoring and notification data
for their coastal recreation waters. The BEACH
Act defines coastal recreation waters as the Great
Lakes and coastal waters (including coastal
estuaries) that states, territories, and authorized
tribes officially recognize or designate for
swimming, bathing, surfing, or similar activities
in the water.
This fact sheet summarizes beach monitoring
and notification data submitted to EPA by the
State of Minnesota for the 2009 swimming
season.
Going to "The Lake" is one of the most popular
summer activities along Minnesota's Lake
Superior coastline. Whether visitors go to the
beach to kayak, swim, surf, or look for agates,
water quality can have a significant impact on a
beachgoer's experience.
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year,
Minnesota conducts a program for monitoring
the bacteria content of the recreational waters
along the Minnesota Lake Superior shoreline
that are publicly owned. A partnership effort
between Minnesota's Pollution Control Agency,
Department of Natural Resources, county health
departments and private/public organizations
in the region provides the citizens of Minnesota
with specific and timely information regarding
water quality conditions. Water is collected from
each beach at least once per week during the
season. Samples are analyzed for E. coli content
and the results are made available to the public.
Minnesota has partnered with the Natural
Resources Research Institute to develop the
www.MNBeaches.org Web site. The Web site
allows the public access to real time data and
advisory information for all of Minnesota's Lake
Superior beaches. It also allows the public to sign
up to receive e-mail notification of advisories for
beaches of their choice.
Figure 1. Minnesota coastal counties.
                                     CookX'
Table 1.  Breakdown of monitored and
        unmonitored coastal beaches by
        county for 2009.
County
COOK
LAKE
SI LOUIS
TOTALS
Total
Beaches
22
23
34
79
Monitored
11
11
17
39
Not
Monitored
11
12
17
40

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2009 Summary Results
How many notification actions were reported and
how long were they?
When water quality standards are exceeded at a
particular beach, Minnesota's approach is to issue a
beach advisory that warns people to avoid contact
with the water. A total of 15 monitored beaches had at
least one advisory issued during the 2009 swimming
season. About 70 percent of Minnesota's  30 notification
actions lasted two days or less. Figure 2 presents a full
breakdown of notification action durations.

What percentage of days were beaches under a
notification action?
For Minnesota's 2009 swimming season,  actions were
reported about 2 percent of the time (Figure 3).

How do 2009 results compare to previous years?
Table 2 compares 2009 notification action data with
monitored beach data from previous years.

What pollution sources possibly affect investigated
monitored beaches?
Figure 4 displays the percentage of Minnesota's
investigated monitored beaches possibly  affected by
various pollution sources. In 2009, all of the beaches
where sources were investigated included storm-
and nonstorm-related runoff, wildlife, and other/
unidentified as possible sources of pollution.


For More Information
For general information about beaches:
www.epa.gov/beaches/
For more information regarding sample results
for all monitored beaches in Minnesota go to
www.MNBeaches.org or contact the MPCA at
(218) 725-7724. You can also call the
Agency's toll-free information line,
1-(800) 657-3864.
 Figure 2: Beach notification actions by duration.
           15
  g
  4-1
  o
  <
  s
  d
                    2       3-7      8-30
                    Duration of Actions (days)
                                              >30
 Figure 3: Beach days with
           and without
           notification
           actions.
              Beach days
             with an action:
                 107
                 (2%)
 Beach days
with no action:
    4,857
    (98%)
 Table 2.  Beach notification actions, 2007-2009.

Number of monitored
beaches
Number of beaches
affected by notification
actions
Percentage of beaches
affected by notification
actions
Percentage of beach days
affected by notification
actions
2007
39
18
46%
4%
2008
40
13
32%
5%
2009
39
15
38%
2%
Figure 4: Percent of investigated monitored beaches
 affected by possible pollution sources (38 beaches).
                                                      0    10   20   30
                  Percent of beaches
                   40   50   60   70
 80   90  100
                              Investigated / no sources found
                                   Non-storm related runoff
                                      Storm-related runoff
                                       Agricultural runoff
                                          Boat discharge
                              Cone, animal feeding operation
                                  Combined sewer overflow
                                   Sanitary sewer overflow
                             Publicly-owned treatment works
                                   Sewer line leak or break
                                    Septic system leakage
                                               Wildlife
                                 Other (identified) source(s)
                                    Unidentified source(s)
              26
                            Wofe: A single beach may
                             have multiple sources.
                                   71
                                                100

                                                100
                                                100
                                                100

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