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Bird Droppings Cause of High E-Coli Counts at Bayfront Beach… | Bird•B•Gone Blog

Bird Droppings Cause of High E-Coli Counts at Bayfront Beach…

Pier 4 style changes can help Bayfront Beach, public health says 

From: The Hamilton Spectator
Sun Nov 27 2011

Hamilton public health will submit A Tale of Two Beaches to the board of health Monday, backing up the need for structural and bird management changes at Bayfront Park.

Dr. Chris Mackie, associate medical officer of health at Hamilton’s Public Health Services, says the reports supports changes to improve water quality at Bayfront Park — where bird droppings are a major factor in excessive E. coli bacteria counts — and offers the “significant” improvement following such measures at Pier 4 to back it up.

Changes at Pier 4 have resulted in fewer closure days since stakeholders — including the city, Bay Area Restoration Council, public works, public health, the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan (RAP) and National Water Research Institute — began adding bird control measures and surface drainage capability at Pier 4 in August 2005.

In short, the report says, the same sort of improvement can be obtained at Bayfront Park — one of the eight beaches public health monitors for E. coli — which has been closed more often than it’s been open.

Hamilton Public Health monitors E. coli levels at three beaches along Lake Ontario, two in Hamilton Harbour, and at three conservation areas.

But there’s a chance to do something to make it better, the report says. Public works plans to include predesign work for shoreline improvements in the 2012 capital budget request for changes that will help at Bayfront.

Whether that is included in the budget, is a decision of city council, says Mackie.

Beach water quality — measured by the number of days when beaches are closed — is one of the criteria used to determine whether Hamilton Harbour can be removed from the list of Great Lakes areas of concern by 2015, as the city’s strategic plan desires.

Read the complete article here

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