Gulf of Mexico
EGLE staffers collecting samples in the Saginaw Bay. via Mlive.com

MI - State Officials Testing Saginaw Bay and Its Beaches to Study Water Quality Issues

BAY CITY, MI — State officials have resumed testing the water of Saginaw Bay and the beaches lining it.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Surface Water Assessment Section (EGLE) developed a work plan to sample algae blooms and shoreline deposits in an effort to help better understand water quality issues and factors affecting the beaches’ quality. The revised work plan was developed to comply with directives and safety practices under COVID-19.

Teams in the Water Resources Division collected samples in June and July with plans to do more testing in August and September to examine potential impacts of excess nutrients and harmful algal blooms on public beaches.

This is the fifth year for regular shoreline condition testing that normally runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day at sites from Pinconning to Caseville and including groomed beaches and more natural shoreline areas.

The purpose of the sampling is to determine general conditions and water quality for several public beaches and shoreline areas on the Saginaw Bay. It also provides supplemental information to determine the impacts of nutrients and harmful algal blooms on aquatic life in the bay. EGLE also shares monitoring results with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and county health departments who determine when public health advisories should be posted.

"This sampling will help us better understand nutrient dynamics of the Bay and current conditions, as well as help guide potential restoration and improvement projects for this highly valued resource," said Kelly Turek, an aquatic biologist in EGLE's Water Resources Division who leads the sampling effort.

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