Chicago Beaches to Open for 2022 Season Friday, But Swimming Isn't Allowed Due to Dangerous Conditions

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The 2022 Chicago beach season kicks of Memorial Day weekend, with 21 beaches opening Friday. Beaches will remain open through Sept 5.

According to the Chicago Park District, Humboldt Beach isn't due to open until June.

However, due to severe weather Friday creating beach hazards and high waves, swimming will not be permitted until the weekend.

According to the Chicago Office of Emergency Management, "high waves action and dangerous conditions are expected at Lake Michigan beaches through Friday at 10 p.m."

Waves of up to seven feet or higher are expected.

"Swimming conditions will be life threatening, especially for inexperienced swimmers," the alert went on to say.

According to the Chicago Park District's flag notification system, these conditions put beaches on a Red Flag warning. When flags are green, swimming is permitted, weather conditions are fair and water quality is good.

When flags are yellow, swimming is permitted, but caution is advised. Weather conditions are unpredictable or bacteria levels are higher than the water quality criteria set by EPA for notifying the public.

When flags are red, swimming is not allowed due to either dangerous weather conditions or water quality.

In addition, swimming is only permitted at beaches between 11 a.m.- 7 p.m., when lifeguards are present.

More beach guidelines are below, according to the Chicago Park District:

  • No glass, alcohol or smoking on the beach
  • Dogs are only allowed in designated dog areas
  • Grilling is only allowed in designated areas and coals should be disposed in the red hot metal containers
  • No bicycling, skateboarding or rollerblading is permitted on accessible beach walks
  • Access to the Lake Michigan Water Trail for sports such as kayaking, canoeing and other non-motorized board or paddle sports is allowed at 12th Street Beach
  • Only Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices (PFDs) are permitted

In an update earlier this week, the Chicago Park District said its offering $500 hiring bonuses for lifeguards due to a staffing shortage.

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