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Great Lakes Article:

Letter to the Editor: Some shorely needed ways to keep beaches open
By Jeff Boehm
Published in the Chicago Sun Times on July 6, 2005

Shedd Aquarium applauds your series on beach closings [news stories, June 26-27]. Lake Michigan affects everyone in the Chicago area profoundly, especially during the summer.

Beach closings are preventable. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to improve the technology of water-quality monitoring are important, but while communities and governmental agencies wrestle with some of the overarching causes for beach contamination, we believe it is extremely important for everyone to remember that their individual actions can help prevent beach closings, as well. While you're on the beaches enjoying Lake Michigan this summer, you can also contribute to its health. Shedd Aquarium offers these tips to Chicago area residents, to help them do their part:

*Don't feed seagulls or other wildlife at the beach. If the animals get used to being fed, they will return to the beaches more frequently, leaving their waste on the shoreline.

*Clean up pet waste. Respect your fellow beach visitors and clean up after your pet.

*Dispose of your trash properly. Ingesting trash can harm wildlife: animals on land, fish in the water, and birds on the wing. This is our front yard; let's keep it clean.

*Use common sense and courtesy. Children in diapers should wear rubber pants in the water. Waste from children or adults may add to beach contamination.

Above all else, remember your role in helping to conserve these magnificent yet vulnerable bodies of water: your Great Lakes.

To learn more, just click on or on

Dr. Jeff Boehm,

senior vice president,

John G. Shedd Aquarium

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