Statement on behalf of Huron Clinton Metroparks re: Lake St. Clair Metropark Beach
As with anything related to the park experience, this is an issue we take very seriously at the Metroparks. The cited report misrepresents the facts. The Macomb County Department of Health performs regular, rigorous testing per the Environmental Protection Agency’s approved method to ensure our beaches are safe for visitors. Throughout 2018, the Lake St. Clair Metropark Beach was closed only four times due to contamination in the water, and on only two occasions during the swim season from Memorial Day to Labor Day. We strive to keep all of our amenities, parks and experiences safe and accessible to visitors. By working closely with partners, including the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy and Michigan State University, we’ve found that the cited water quality issues are often due to geese in the area. To solve that, we’ve worked to reduce the presence of geese near public beaches by participating in goose roundups that help place geese in designated, safe state properties. We’ve also implemented a new program with trained border collies that has proven to be tremendously successful. In addition, we work to improve water quality and better understand its impacts by providing space and resources for the HEART Freshwater lab at Lake St. Clair Metropark. Geese don’t just impact the quality of water for swimming, they can also be a nuisance to visitors enjoying the beach and picnic areas. To further improve the experience for all visitors, we are currently exploring the implementation of natural vegetative barriers. The barriers are designed to make areas around beaches less appealing to geese so they can find safer homes within the parks and surrounding areas.