Barkers Island Swimming Beach Closed Indefinitely
A swimming water hazard has closed the Barkers Island swimming beach indefinitely. Officials with the City of Superior released the information on September 10 via their official website.
According the details released by the city, an algae bloom was observed in the swimming area of the beach. Blooms like that are known to make humans (and pets) sick:
"Blue green algae blooms can produce toxins that can make people and animals sick after they swallow, breathe in, or have contact with the water. Do no swim in algae effected areas, walk along banks where scums have accumulated, or swallow algae affected water."
The algae bloom has caused the closure of the beach to swimming and other activities. Members of the general public are also advised that Barkers Island public swimming beach is "no longer being monitored for the season" so there will be no staffing available to determine when the water becomes safe again for use (if at all the remainder of the season).
City officials and health experts warn swimmers and water sports participants to always be on the lookout for algae blooms in the water they frequent. People are advised to avoid conditions such as discolored or "scummy looking" water before making contact.
If you're looking for someplace to swim - other than Barkers Island, the Twin Ports area offers many convenient and beautiful options. Click here to see some of the best options in Duluth-Superior.
While they can be harmful to humans and animals, algae is a naturally-occurring species in Wisconsin lakes and rivers. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services shares that "[w]hen environmental conditions are right, the algal population can grow quickly and a bloom can occur". Blooms are "sudden increase[s] in algae cells in a certain area of water". While they have occurred naturally for "many centuries", researchers are only beginning to understand the dangers that algae can pose to humans and animals.