Beach Bacteria

A Grand Valley State University professor teamed up with his teenage son and another high school student this summer to find out why E. coli bacteria sometimes closes beaches on the Great Lakes around Michigan. Richard Rediske is a professor with the school's Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute in Muskegon. He joined his son, Jeremy, a senior at Allendale High School, and Rachel Swaffer, a senior at Traverse City Central High School, to research the link between the potentially deadly bacteria and cladophora. Cladophora is a type of green algae native to the Great Lakes that affects northern Michigan beaches. Preliminary results indicate that elevated levels of E. coli in cladophora at tested beaches can be linked with storm water and other discharges.

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