Dangerous Current and Wave Risk Communication

In 2012 and 2013, dangerous currents and waves in the Great Lakes caused 88 drowning deaths and rescue incidents. Increased beachgoer awareness and better decision making is needed to prevent the further loss of life from these swimming hazards. In order to address this risk communication gap, the Coastal Storms Program contracted Eastern Research Group (ERG) to study beachgoer attitudes and perceptions related to dangerous currents and waves along several popular beaches in the Great Lakes. The report is the culmination of multiple years of regional beach expert and practitioner interviews, web-based and beach intercept surveys, an extensive literature search, and partner coordination. In the report, ERG outlines a comprehensive risk communication strategy, which includes the creation of a community of practice where a wide range of organizations working for beach safety in the Great Lakes can exchange ideas and promote consistent safety messages. See the full report. For more information please contact Jesse Schomberg at jschombe@d.umn.edu or (218) 726-6182.