Chicago Park District beaches will open for the season on Friday, but swimming will not be safe for the first day


CHICAGO (CBS) — The city’s 22 beaches will officially open Friday for the 2022 season.

This year’s beach season runs until Monday, September 5.

“We are thrilled to welcome everyone back to Chicago’s lakeside beaches, the backdrop for many Chicago summer experiences,” said Chicago Park District Superintendent and General Manager Rosa Escareño. in a press release. “We encourage all beachgoers to prepare for their visit by learning basic water safety skills to respond accordingly in an emergency, and urge them to obey the flag system and only enter water only when lifeguards are present.”

However, the beaches may not be particularly appealing on Fridays, especially since the high for the day is only 60 and it will rain in the morning. And because of the strong winds, swimming will not be an option at all.

The city issued a beach hazard statement beginning late Thursday night and ending Friday at 10 p.m. — meaning Lake Michigan will not be safe for swimming.

Strong waves and dangerous currents are expected at Lake Michigan beaches across Cook County and north to Lake County. Dangerous rip currents and waves of up to 7 feet or even more are expected, and the city warns that swimming conditions could be deadly, especially for inexperienced swimmers.

The city is warning people to stay out of the water, avoid dangerous swimming conditions and refrain from venturing onto docks, piers or breakwater walls.

Meanwhile, the Park District reminds everyone to follow the beach rules:

• Swimming is only permitted when lifeguards are present, and lifeguards must be obeyed.

• Glass, alcohol and smoking are not allowed on the beach.

• All waste should be properly disposed of and birds should not be fed.

• Dogs are only allowed in designated areas.

• Small children should wear swim diapers.

• Grilling is only permitted in designated areas and embers should be discarded in red-hot metal containers.

• Accessible walkways on the beach must be cleared. Cycling, skateboarding and in-line skating are not permitted;

• Access to the Lake Michigan Water Trail for kayaking, canoeing, and other non-motorized board and paddle sports is permitted at 12th Street Beach at the end of Roosevelt Road.

• Kitesurfing is allowed at Montrose Beach, and only at Montrose Beach.

• Only Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices are permitted. Any child equipped with a personal flotation device must be accompanied by an adult.

• Swimming is permitted when lifeguards are on duty from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., unless otherwise specified.

The Chicago Park District will also continue to use its flag notification system and webpage to post swimming status, water quality and other information at the 22 lakeside and Humboldt beaches. Park Beach.

The flag notification system informs customers of beach status:

• Green: swimming is allowed, the weather conditions are good and the water quality is good.

• Yellow: Swimming is permitted, but with caution. Weather conditions are unpredictable or bacteria levels are above the water quality criteria set by the Environmental Protection Agency to advise the public.

• Red: Swimming prohibited. Weather conditions or water quality are hazardous.

For more information, follow this link or call the Chicago Park District Beach hotline at (312) 74-BEACH.

Meanwhile, Park District pools don’t open until June 24 – and that’s if all goes well. The Chicago Park District is signaling that it needs lifeguards and hopes a retention bonus will ensure enough lifeguards to keep pools open in time. More information on the retention bonus is available here.


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