Shoreline Work at North Point Marina Beach Underway
Work is underway by the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center to improve the Lake Michigan shoreline at North Point Marina Beach near Winthrop Harbor.
Using funds from a grant provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, native plantings are replacing invasive plant species at the beach near the public boat launch with hopes of improving the quality of the water and reducing swimming bans at North Point Marina. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources owns the beach at North Point Marina, which has grown in size from about one acre to nine acres due to sand moving down the shoreline from Wisconsin over the past 20 years as well as lower water levels. While a large, sandy beach may sound nice for humans, it also means a large attraction for gulls. The more gulls there are, the more gull excrement is in the water, raising the potential of elevated bacteria or other pathogens that may make people sick.
There have been swimming bans at North Point beach 70 to 80 percent of the time in recent years which is one of the highest rates of bans at beaches in the region.
"Adding native plants to the area will discourage gulls from staying around the beach, but we also need help from beach visitors to not feed the gulls," said Mike Adam, senior biologist for the Health Department. "The end result will be safer water for swimmers." During this project there may be minor interruptions accessing the beach. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
To check for swim bans at North Point Marina and other Lake Michigan beaches in Lake County, visit: