Great Lakes Beaches Research

2. Project Objectives

This project aims to provide the scientific knowledge to strengthen programs aimed at reducing the number of beach closures on the Great Lakes. This project will focus on understanding the groundwater flow and associated nutrient and bacterial processes that control nutrient and fecal pollution at beaches of the Great Lakes. The specific objectives include:

  • Characterize physical and hydrological conditions at a wide range of beach types, including groundwater discharge flow rates.
  • Identify factors contributing to the elevated concentrations of E. coli in groundwater and sand at beaches and the mechanisms that move E. coli between the lake and groundwater.
  • Identify nutrient sources and the physical flow and chemical processes that controlling nutrients discharging to shallow waters from groundwater.
  • Develop advanced computer models to aid in evaluating the contribution of groundwater on recreational water quality for different beach types.

Interactions between the groundwater and lake occur all along the shoreline