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Designs call for moving South Shore Beach to buck history of poor water quality

Milwaukee County is considering possible designs that guide the proposed reconstruction of South Shore Beach, a project meant to alleviate the beach’s years-long track record of having poor water and being closed.

At a public forum this week, county officials released design ideas meant to guide plans to move the beach. South Shore Beach consistently ranks among the worst beaches in the U.S. and Great Lakes. Recent studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences show stormwater runoff, poor circulation and waterfowl excrement are among the biggest contributors to the beach’s poor water quality.

Moving the beach would cost “several million dollars,” according to a Milwaukee County news release on Tuesday, but local officials hope the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources or other agencies will contribute to the project.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Wisconsin DNR previously awarded $350,000 to Milwaukee County to study water quality and moving options. Milwaukee County, meanwhile, has spent $2.8 million since 2015 to install green infrastructure and other features meant to improve the water’s quality.

“We have worked for my entire service as County Supervisor to improve South Shore Beach,” County Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic  said in a statement. “Together we have invested millions in this renaissance and everyone can see and feel the difference in our regional treasure of our park. I am hopeful that this possible major investment in state DNR funding to relocate the beach will help us open a clean, safe beach for everyone to enjoy and I can’t wait to hear from the public.”

About Nate Beck, nbeck@dailyreporter.com

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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