CLEVELAND — Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer, when many schools are out, pools are open, and boating season gets underway.
With 312 miles of shore way in Ohio, Lake Erie is a popular spot for both residents and tourists alike.
The Cleveland Metroparks maintains several beaches and swimming areas, including Huntington, Edgewater and Villa Angela beaches, as well as Wallace Lake and the Hinkley Spillway.
Christy Moore, Cleveland Metroparks Aquatics Director, explained her staff is excited to have people enjoy the parks and beaches.
“We want people to come to the park and use the beach and use our resources and facilities that we have, so it’s one of our greatest assets is being on the lake, so we want people to use it, but use it safely,” she said.
They have put an emphasis on safety, especially when it comes to swimming. There will not be lifeguards at their swimming locations until the first weekend in June.
The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, a nonprofit group that aims to prevent drownings, reported six drowning deaths on Lake Erie so far this year.
“So if people do decide to go in the water, we really encourage them to wait until lifeguards are on duty, but if they’re not going to, we ask that parents, guardians are keeping a close eye on children; non-swimmers and weak swimmers are wearing U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets, and then children should always be within arm's reach of an adult or a capable swimmer while they’re at or near the waterline,” Moore said.
Boating comes with its own risks, and the rules and regulations are listed on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website.