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).
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. Samples for E. coli and cyanobacteria are collected at state park beaches, and boat ramps. The sample results are listed on the BeachGuard webpage. More information on HABs can be found at www.ohioalgaeinfo.com. Information on health effects of exposure to cyanotoxins can be found at https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/know-our-programs/harmful-algal-blooms/welcome-to-habs.
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.