Meetings and Events: Great Lakes Beach Conference: 2001
Other Beaches Links
Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
The Great Lakes Beach Conference was held at the Midland Hotel in Chicago from February 6 through 8, 2001. The conference was sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 and the City of Chicago. The focus of the conference was the science and technology of beach monitoring and closure, beach management, and resources to support beach programs. The 248 registered participants consisted of environmental and public health officials, local beach managers, regulators, community groups, research personnel, and others interested in beach management and protection. The conference provided numerous networking opportunities for participants to share information about their programs and learn what others are doing. In addition, 14 posters covering many aspects of modeling, monitoring, public outreach, economic impacts, source identification, and even a "Bacteria Game" were available to the participants throughout the conference. The conference agenda is below.
A welcome and overview panel began the conference by discussing the current regulatory, physical, and biological situation of the Great Lakes. Mr. William Abolt of the City of Chicago Department of Environment and Mr. David Ullrich, Acting Regional Administrator for EPA Region 5, welcomed conference participants. Both pledged the commitment of their agencies to protecting the Great Lakes beaches.
City of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley then spoke during the conference luncheon. Mayor Daley indicated that the city's beaches are not only environmentally but also economically important to the city. He discussed the progress the city has made in the last 15 years to improve its beaches and restore their recreational uses. He also discussed the city's commitment to continuing the protection and restoration of the beaches.
The conference format included technical presentations with question-and-answer periods for the entire group and breakout sessions to discuss specific issues associated with the technical presentation. Topics included science and technology, regulatory and nonregulatory approaches, management of beaches, and public outreach and communication.
The breakout sessions provided opportunities for more interactive discussions focused on developing specific recommendations for policy, regulatory, and technical needs to support beach management programs on the Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair, and inland beaches.
On February 7, David Knight of the Great Lakes Seaway Magazine spoke during dinner. Mr. Knight discussed some of the economic benefits of the Great Lakes and focused on the thriving Great Lakes cruise industry.
After the technical breakout sessions were concluded, recommendations from each session were compiled for the lake watershed breakout sessions on February 8. These sessions included individuals participating or interested in the research, regulation, or management of a specific watershed. The watershed groups reviewed the recommendations and determined which were most applicable to their watershed and which to present during the Funding Sources and Capacity Building Overview and Panel Discussion. The watershed groups also identified additional recommendations that they see as a priority for funding in their watershed.
At the conclusion of the conference, Rick Hoffman of EPA presented a technical workshop on the federal beach bill to about 70 people. This workshop provided conference participants with the opportunity to understand the purpose of the beach bill and determine how it may apply to their group.
As a result of the conference, many participants have a better understanding of additional technical and funding resources to implement or improve their programs.
|Date and Time||Topic/Session||Speaker and Organization|
|Tuesday, February 6, 2001|
|Morning Presentations (zip) (1.6 MB)|
|10a–12p||Welcome and Overview Panel||Judy Beck, U.S. EPA|
|Welcome from the City of Chicago||Bill Abolt, City of Chicago|
|Welcome from U.S. EPA||David Ullrich, U.S. EPA|
|"The New Beach Act"||Jim Hanlon, U.S. EPA|
|"Great Lakes Beaches: Protect the Legacy"||Janet Vail, GVSU|
|"Physical Processes Affecting Beach Use"||Roger Gauthier, ACOE|
|Local public health perspective: The City of Chicago Experience||Bill Abolt, City of Chicago|
|"A Model Bathing Beach Program for Local Health Departments"||Jack Kurowski, City of Lorain|
Jill Lis, Cuyahoga County
|"Reaching for Beach Health: Citizens' Solutions"||Cameron Davis, LMF|
|Afternoon Presentations (zip) (1.1 MB)|
|130—330p||Science and Technology Technical Overview
|Annette Ashizawa, Ph.D., ATSDR|
|Understanding health risks||Dr. Michael Beach, CDC|
|"Beach Monitoring: Current Methods and Limitations"||Dr. Richard Whitman, USGS|
|New monitoring methods||Dr. Al Dufour, U.S. EPA, ORD|
|"Evaluating Water Quality at Public Beaches for the Protection of Public Health||Donna Francy, USGS|
|4–5p||Science and Technology Break-out Sessions|
|Health Risks||Dr. Michael Beach, CDC|
|Current Monitoring||Dr. Richard Whitman, USGS|
|New Monitoring||Donna Myers, USGS|
|Predictive Modeling||Donna Francy, USGS|
|Wednesday, February 7|
|Morning Presentations (zip) (1.5 MB)|
|8–10:30a||Regulatory and Non-regulatory Approaches
Technical Overview and Questions/Answers
|David Rockwell, GLNPO|
|"U.S. EPA's BEACH Program"||Rick Hoffmann, U.S. EPA|
|"Illinois' Efforts to Protect Beach Patrons"||Pat Metz, IDPH|
|E. Coli Task Force||Kathy Luther, IDEM/ECTF|
|"Recreational Water Quality Guidelines: The Canadian Approach"||Will Robertson, Health Canada|
|11a—12p||Regulatory and Non-regulatory Approaches Break-out Sessions|
|Regulations and Standards||Joe O'Connor, IDPH|
|Non-regulatory Approaches||Kathy Luther, IDEM/ECTF|
|Lake Levels||Roger Gauthier, ACOE|
|Roles of NGOs||Cameron Davis, LMF|
|Afternoon Presentations (zip) (3.6 MB)|
|130–330p||Management of Beaches/Public Outreach and Communication
Technical Overview and Question/Answers
|Shannon Briggs, MDEQ|
|Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore||Dale Engquist, NPS|
|Management of Sources and Exposure Pathways||Arnie Leder, U.S. EPA|
|"Macomb County (Mich.) Health Department
Surface Water Improvement and Monitoring (SWIM) Team"
|Gary White, Macomb County|
|"Community Outreach Related to City of Milwaukee
Public Beaches: Water Quality Advisories and Pollution Prevention"
|Mary Ellen Bruesch, Milwaukee|
|City of Chicago Example||Marcia Jimenez, Chicago|
|4–5p||Management/Public Outreach and Communication Break-out Sessions|
|Establishing a Risk Communication/Notification Program||Dale Engquist, NPS|
|Assessing Your Site: Identifying Sources of Contaminants||Arnie Leder, U.S. EPA|
|Collaboration/Partnerships||Mary Ellen Bruesch, Milwaukee|
|Establishing a Monitoring Program||Gary White, Macomb County|
|Thursday, February 8|
|Morning Presentations (zip) (1.6 MB)|
|8–10a||Lake Watershed Break-out Sessions|
|Lake Erie||Laura Evans, U.S. EPA|
|Lake Huron||Jim Bredin, MDEQ|
|Lake Michigan||Janet Vail, GVSU|
|Lake Ontario||Richard Coleates, U.S. EPA|
|Lake St. Clair||Laura Lodisio, U.S. EPA|
|Lake Superior||Steve Elmer, WDHFS|
|1030a–12p||Funding Sources and Capacity Building Overview
and Panel Discussion
|Gary Gulezian, U.S. EPA|
|Federal funding through the Beach Bill||Rick Hoffmann, U.S. EPA|
|Federal funding through EPA||Mary Pat Tyson, U.S. EPA|
|Foundations||Dave Rankin, GL Protection Fund|
|"Clean Michigan Initiative"||Shannon Briggs, MDEQ|
|"U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Assistance Programs"||Jan Miller, ACOE|
|E. Coli Task Force approach||Mike Kuss, IDEM/ECTF|
|Networking Overview||Judy Beck, U.S. EPA|
|1p–330p||Optional Technical Workshop on the Federal Beach Bill||Rick Hoffmann, U.S. EPA|