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Contact: Ken Mehne, 219-395-1658
INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: On Wednesday, June 19 at approximately 2:00 p.m. the National Park Service lifted the Swimming Advisory for all beach areas at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The advisory had been put in place on June 17 when a possible hazardous material spill was observed at the national lakeshore’s Porter Beach area. Laboratory tests conducted by both the United States Geologic Survey and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management determined that the substances found in the water did not pose a health threat to swimmers.
National Park Service rangers had been dispatched to the beach area just after noon on Monday, June 17, when visitors reported an unidentified substance sticking to swimmers as they exited the water. Working with Porter Police, Porter Fire and Indiana Department of Natural Resources units the decision was made to remove visitors from the water until the substance could be identified.
The United States Coast Guard used a helicopter to observe the extent of the material and estimated it to be approximately 1/8 of a mile in length and being moved by lake currents to the east from Porter Beach towards the Indiana Dunes State Park and the eastern portions of the national lakeshore.
Water samples taken initially ruled out an oil spill and further laboratory analysis indicated the presence of Tricalcium Orthophosphate. An increased amount of natural products, including algae and mica particles, were also found to be in the water.
The National Park Service continues to work with other agencies in investigating the source of this material. For additional information, contact Law Enforcement Specialist Ken Mehne at 219-395-1658 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is part of the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.