The Great Lakes shoreline is home to more than 1200 public beaches that draw millions of visitors each year. Impacts of coastal recreational use include:
- Increased traffic to coastal areas
- Potential pollution caused by recreational use, such as litter
- Activities associated with beach management, such as beach grooming
Mapping coastal recreational use as a Great Lakes stressor
- Canadian beach location points were provided by Environment Canada
- U.S. beach locations were obtained from the U.S. EPA BEACH Act Geospatial Database. We converted beach segments to points using the midpoint.
- The analysis includes beaches located within 1 km of the shoreline
- We created 1 km buffer around each point to estimate the in-lake area affected by coastal recreation.
Distribution of coastal recreational use as a stressor in the Laurentian Great Lakes (Inset: Western Lake Erie).