Residents hoping to head to the beach this weekend in parts of northwest Indiana will have to make other plans, as a chemical spill has forced the closure of several beaches at Indiana Dunes National Park.
According to a statement issued by the National Park Service, the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk beach area are closed indefinitely after a chemical spill caused a massive fish kill on Aug. 14. An undetermined substance was spilled into the East Branch of the Little Calumet River, causing the kill, and as a result officials are banning residents from swimming in Lake Michigan in the affected areas.
“Until the direct cause of this fish kill has been determined, the impacted waters will remain closed, and residents are advised to avoid eating fish in the affected areas,” NPS said in a statement.
Portions of the Little Calumet River have also been closed to boating, and the Ogden Dunes Beach has been closed as a result of the spill, officials said.
Officials in Ogden Dunes say the Indiana American Water plant has restricted the intake of water at their filtration facility, and that water distribution to the town will remain unaffected.