Throughout the summer Great Lakes Echo will feature an occasional series of public service announcements produced by Michigan’s Ottawa County Health Department to promote clean beaches.
This one tells swimmers that feeding the birds can ultimately lead to a greater risk for illness.
Echo recently reported a similar issue in Chicago, where a large ring-billed gull population contributed to unsafe E. Coli levels on the beach.
Researchers eventually used egg oiling to reduce the population, and swim advisories were lifted from a dozen Lake Michigan beaches.
One way to help prevent the problem is to refrain from sharing food with the birds, said Kristina Wieghmink, spokesperson for the Ottawa County Health Department.
“Our beaches are clean, but the growth of E. Coli is always a worry,” she said. “Waste from birds can lead to harmful side effects and public health concerns.”
Follow this link to other clean beach notices.
The campaign is funded through grants from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.