Milwaukee Community Sailing Center
Press Release

Lakefront Consortium Creates Beach Ambassador Program to Educate and Help to Prevent Lakefront Drownings


By - Jun 7th, 2021 04:25 pm

In 2020 four individuals tragically lost their lives by drowning on Milwaukee’s McKinley and Bradford Beaches. Many believe the pandemic and beautiful summer weather drew the large crowds during the summer of 2020. In the aftermath five organizations have come together to affect change and help educate beach goers about water quality, the flag warning system and dangerous wave action and riptides. The consortium of lakefront specialists include the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, Wisconsin Sea Grant, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, Milwaukee Water Commons, and Coastline Services.

Dr. Deidre Peroff, a social scientist with Wisconsin Sea Grant said, “It is fantastic that so many beach goers have come out to enjoy Lake Michigan and our beaches, but many come from different backgrounds and a wide variety of levels of swimming competency. Many are unfamiliar with the consequences of swimming in the lake.”

The design of McKinley Beach has created dangerous riptides which draws swimmers out into the lake, many do not know how to get back in because of the dangerous rocks. Because of this fact, the beach is now permanently closed to swimmers as it is redesigned and reconfigured. The Beach Ambassadors will be able to educate beach-goers regarding the closure as well as the flag warning system in place along the beaches. The first group of ambassadors will be dressed in distinctive blue shirts and serve as a friendly, welcoming face but they are not life guards.

Teresa Coronado, program director of the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center said, “we’ve selected and trained a diverse group of ambassadors who we feel can connect with the teens, young adults as well as families on the beach through education.” The Ambassadors welcome questions from beach visitors about water quality and safety, and are glad to offer resources for water education.

Look for the Ambassadors pushing their information cart Thursday through Sundays from 11 am to 2 pm or from our information center between Bradford and McKinley Beach.

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