Beach closures have been rare in 2020, but certain conditions make it more likely than others. Since Door County embraced beach monitoring with the help of a team of students from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, it has been learned that e.coli pollution comes from local sources. Egg Harbor and Ellison Bay have added natural cover to keep birds away as the bacteria is found in their droppings. Stormwater drains have had treatment facilities added to help purify their runoff, or their location shifted, so they discharge away from where recreation happens. Water Resources Management Special Advisor Madeline Magee says those efforts mean most closures only last 24 hours.
Magee says it is important to remember that swimming in natural bodies of water like Lake Michigan should be followed by a shower before beachgoers go about the rest of their day or have lunch. If you can’t shower, bring hand sanitizer with you.