Summit searches for solutions to beach closings

Sep 23, 2015

In an effort to address the high number of beach closings this past summer, a "Beach Summit" was convened at Woodlawn Beach State Park. 

A group of local officials gathered at Woodlawn Beach State Park to discuss the troubling number of beach closings this summer.
Credit Chris Caya, wbfo

Nearly two dozen officials from a various state and local government agencies took part in the summit  hosted by State Assemblyman Sean Ryan.

"I think 30 years ago, people really weren't even thinking about going to some of our beaches because of the conditions, but we've done such a good job of getting the water (quality) level up," Ryan said.

"People have a higher expectation now."

 New York Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Director Abby Snyder says a lot of work has gone into improving local beaches. But Snyder says the water testing being done is simple and doesn't identify the source of a beach closing.  

"Is the source from a treatment plant? Is it human (waste)? Is it avian? What actually is it? So, I think that actually will help us determine what the problems are," Snyder said.

State Parks Regional Director Mark Thomas says there's a greater number of beaches on Lake Ontario, though most of this summer's closings were on Lake Erie.