Beach Season Begins

May 25, 2006

Beach season is upon us.

It brings, surf, sand, and frustrating swimming bans.

This year, the Chicago Park District's trying new tactics to keep beaches open.

Among other things, the Chicago Park District wants beachgoers to change how they dispose of trash.

This year, covered containers will dot the sand instead of familiar open air barrels.

Officials say disposed goodies attract birds.

Scientists believe bird droppings breed dangerous bacteria.

But the district's Megan McDonald Paulson says the measure won't stop all beach closures.

Paulson says, We're really just doing everything we can to try to help combat swim bans, but the reality of it is, the bacteria that's in the water, until we figure out where it's coming from and what the source is, we're kind of at a loss.

The Chicago Park District also plans to rake sand at its smaller beaches.

That might expose more sand to sunlight and kill bacteria.

Crews have raked sand at larger beaches for several years.

Chicago's beaches open Friday morning.

To check on beach closures, you may call 312-74 BEACH.