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Lake Michigan beaches see fewer E. coli advisories

May 28, 2018

Lake Michigan’s E. coli and swimming advisories are down from previous years. A recent study says that’s both good and bad.

The study looks at Lake Michigan’s beaches from 2000 to 2014. You can read the full study here.

Chelsea Weiskerger, a PhD student at Michigan State University who co-authored the report, says the lower E. coli numbers mean that beaches are cleaner and safer for recreational use.

“But the converse here, the bad news, is that it’s due in part to an invasive species, the quagga mussel,” Weiskerger said.

Quagga mussels eat the E. coli bacteria, which makes water safer for us. But in turn, they are bad for the ecosystem of the Great Lakes.

“It changes the overall makeup of the lakes and makes it sort of a less productive ecosystem overall,” Weiskerger said.

There have been efforts over recent years to keep invasive species out of the Great Lakes.