Miller-Coors donates $500,000 to clean up South Shore Beach

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by Priscilla Luong

BAY VIEW-- A beach with no swimmers, that's what South Shore Park's beach looks like most of the time.

"We've been sitting here in this beautiful natural asset, without being able to use it," said Marina Dimitrijevic, Chairwoman of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors.

Pollution has plagued the beach in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood for years, but Dimitrijevic, says members of the Bay View community are determined to turn things around.

"We've had a vision for over ten years now," she said, "and now we have a great partner that's stepped up."

Miller-Coors has donated $500,000 toward revitalizing South Shore Beach.

"We're just really honored and pleased to do this," said Tom Cardella, President of Miller-Coors, "and make this a beautiful, beautiful park."

The donation comes after South Shore Park was named one of the country's worst beaches.  With high E-Coli levels, the beach stays closed for most of the swimming season.

"We've done some more complex testing to find out, it's coming from the birds," explained Dr. Sandra McCullen, a professor at UW Milwaukee's School of Fresh Water Sciences, "it's washing off the parking lot."

Researchers say bird feces and other pollutants litter the beach's shoreline, and improving water quality will not be easy.

"The ultimate goal isn't to determine if the water is good or bad, it's to clean it up so people can swim," said Dr. McCullen.

Researchers say it will take years to clean-up South Shore Beach, but getting money to begin the process is a good start.

"We're going to remove some of the bacteria from the sand, upgrade it, we're going to reduce the pollution," said Dimitrijevic, "and I hope that in a few years, we'll be able to swim in the water and have a revitalized beach much like Bradford."

The donation from Miller-Coors will help with clean-up efforts for the next five years.  One long-term solution may include moving the beach to a cleaner area of South Shore Park. 
  

 

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