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Lake Michigan Beach Monitoring and Notification Program

Indiana's beaches are a wonderful place to play, watch wildlife, fish, and swim. Lake Michigan is an important resource to many people. Human activity impacts beach water quality. Polluted waters may contain disease-causing pathogens such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. Contaminated beach water has the potential to make swimmers sick and closures due to water quality issues can have a negative impact on Indiana’s economy.

The U.S. Congress enacted the BEACH Act to protect public health at our nation’s coastal beaches. To safeguard beachgoers, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and local organizations established the Lake Michigan Beach Monitoring and Notification Program with BEACH Act funding. IDEM partners with beach managers who monitor Lake Michigan beaches for E. coli and notify the public when beaches are closed or under advisory due to water contamination.

Hoosiers can help prevent pollution and protect Lake Michigan's ecosystem so present and future generations can enjoy Indiana’s unique coastline environment.

Indiana BeachGuard

Before you head to the beach, check the Indiana BeachGuard Monitoring and Notification System (BeachGuard) for:

  • Beach water contamination advisories and beach closures
  • Maps and directions to beaches
  • Links to organizations that monitor beach water quality
  • Monitoring schedules
  • Test results for E. coli bacteria

Mobile phone and tablet users can access BeachGuard through BeachesAlert:

Grand Calumet River Area of Concern Beaches

Nine beaches monitored through the Lake Michigan Beach Monitoring and Notification Program lie within the Grand Calumet River / Indiana Harbor Ship Canal Area of Concern. Be sure to read more about IDEM’s efforts to identify and address factors impacting beach water quality in these areas.

Blue-Green Algae Monitoring Program

IDEM, in coordination with several other state agencies, operates a blue-green algae monitoring program at selected state parks and recreation areas. Sampling is conducted annually between mid-May and the week of August 31 to coincide with the opening of swimming beaches at these areas between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Other Resources

These additional resources are also available for beachgoers:

  • Beach health and safety
  • Weather and air quality
  • Tourism and visitor information
  • Protection and restoration of Lake Michigan’s ecosystem

Beach Alerts

Get the latest emails or SMS texts as they happen