News Release 093

Eight Missouri State Park beaches open today for the 2012 recreational season

Volume 39-093 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

Today, eight Missouri State Park beaches opened for the 2012 recreational season providing its visitors an opportunity to cool off from the unusually warm temperatures Missouri is experiencing this spring.

Designated swimming beaches opened today at Cuivre River State Park in Lincoln County; Lake Wappapello State Park in Wayne County; Long Branch State Park in Macon County; Pomme de Terre State Park – Hermitage and Pittsburg beaches in Hickory County; St. Joe State Park – Monsanto and Pim beaches in St. Francois County; Stockton State Park in Cedar County. Additional state park designated swimming beaches are scheduled to open for the recreational season later this month. Visit mostateparks.com for additional information.

Visitors to Missouri State Parks are now able to sign up to receive electronic notices about the status of state park beaches. For the past two years, visitors have been able to check the status of beaches at a glance on the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ website at http://bit.ly/MoStateParksBeachStatus as well as mostateparks.com. In addition to checking the website, visitors can sign up to receive free alerts and advisories through email or text messages at http://bit.ly/HlSnaG. The department will notify subscribers when the beach status website is updated with the latest postings and will provide a link to view an interactive map of all state park beaches. The email or text notices will allow visitors to gain even quicker access to the information in a convenient manner.

The department’s map will display flags at each beach’s location, with a green flag denoting an open beach and a red flag denoting a beach that has been closed. If a beach is closed, the flags will denote the reason which may include high bacteria, flooding or high water levels, or storm debris. When a beach is closed, signs will be posted at the beach and on bulletin boards at the park office to notify the public. Beaches will be closed for high bacteria when a single E. coli sample exceeds 235 cfu/100ml or when the geometric mean – a 30-day rolling average – exceeds 126 cfu/100 ml.

The department samples the water at all designated beaches in the state park system weekly during the recreational season to determine suitability for swimming. The department will post the information about the beach status on the website at http://bit.ly/MoStateParksBeachStatus as well as mostateparks.com. The sample test results indicate a snap shot of the water quality taken at the beaches at a specific time; however, a single sample does not provide an overall sense of the water quality in the lake where the beach is located.

Missouri's state parks and historic sites offer something to suit everyone's taste - outdoor adventure, great scenery and a bit of history. With Missouri's 85 state parks and historic sites, the possibilities are boundless. For more information about Missouri state parks and historic sites and swimming beaches, visit mostateparks.com.

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