Mayor Advancing Plan To Relocate Sandpoint Beach Away From Deep Drop Off

Tuesday June 1st, 2021

Posted at 11:23am

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A file photo of the beach from May 2019

Mayor Drew Dilkens is hoping to advance a plan to ultimately relocate Sandpoint Beach further east from an area of water that the city says contains a deep drop-off.

Dilkens announced the plan at a press conference held Tuesday morning. The announcement follows the drowning of a swimmer a little over a week ago.

Dilkens says the plan includes seeking city council authorization to immediately start a $227,500 environment assessment three years earlier than originally planned.

The city says the assessment is the first step required to relocate the public beach further east, increasing the distance between the approved swimming area and an “out-of-bounds area marked off near a deep drop-off” that Dilkens says has been the site of drowning incidents over the years, including one he witnessed as an auxiliary police officer in 1996.

While the beach has a designated swimming area that is installed in early June and removed in September, and lifeguards will be on duty daily from 1:00pm to 7:00pm, Dilkens says there are still risks.

“We can’t escape the fact that the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair are busy shipping channels and the currents in this area are strong and they require everyone to adhere to the safety guidelines in place,” he said. “Despite all of the city’s best intentions, it’s impossible to police this beach twenty-four hours a day and make sure everyone follows all of the guidelines and safety measures in place.”

But Dilkens say the beach is a safe place for families to swim once it officially opens next month.”When Sandpoint beach officially opens in a month from now, I want to underscore that this remains a safe place for families to swim and to cool off from the summer heat.”

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