The Bathing Beach Monitoring Program is a cooperative effort of the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, local health departments with public beaches within their jurisdictions and private and public organizations along the Lake Erie border and throughout Ohio. The goal of the program is to assure a safe and healthy aquatic recreational environment by protecting the bathing public from risks of contracting waterborne diseases from exposure to contaminated waters or public health exposure to toxins found in Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB). Water samples are collected at state park beaches and boat ramps, other public beaches, and recreational access areas along Lake Erie and other bodies of water in Ohio. These water samples are analyzed for cyanotoxins when a HAB is present and for E. coli bacteria. Sample results can be found on the BeachGuard webpage.
Ohio has a Harmful Algal Bloom Response Strategy for responding to reports of cyanobacteria blooms, thresholds for cyanotoxin exposure, and recommendations regarding recreational use of the water when toxins are present. This strategy can be found here and this video presentation describes the strategy actions and recommendations.
The program also highly encourages the development of localized beach water monitoring efforts, predictive models for assessing recreational water quality, pre-emptive warning systems to inform the public more effectively and aquatic sanitation programs for identifying and eliminating potential pollution sources.
If you have a question about a specific beach please call the beach or park office directly.
To learn more about safe swimming at Ohio's beaches click the following links:
- Harmful Algal Blooms
- Information for reporting HAB illness
- State of Ohio HAB webpage
- CDC HABs webpage
- USEPA HABs webpage
- NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
- Ohio Department of Natural Resources - Safe Beach Swimming
- Ohio Department of Health - Bathing Beach Monitoring
- CDC Freshwater HAB Illnesses
Get in touch
General information: 614-644-7464
Toll-free Beach info line: 1-866-OHIO BCH (1-866-644-6224)