MILWAUKEE – Today, County Supervisor Sheldon A. Wasserman is calling on his County Board colleagues and the Milwaukee County Parks Department to prioritize the immediate safety concerns at McKinley Beach.


“First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with the family of the teenage girl who drowned at McKinley Beach yesterday evening,” said Supervisor Wasserman. “My heart is with the family and friends who have lost a loved one.


“At today’s Parks, Energy and Environment Committee meeting staff testified on the potential design adjustments that could be made at the beach to create a safe swimming environment. In the coming days, with the assistance of parks and research staff, I will be unveiling legislation to fast-track one of these design solutions to once and for all make this beach safe.


“The County Board’s priority must be the safety of beachgoers, and I, for one, am tired of waking up to hear that yet another one of our residents has lost their life at this beach. It’s time for action and solutions.


“In the meantime, I implore the Parks Department to implement short-term safety measures to provide an added level of safety for those who choose to enter the water. Adding a temporary safety measure, like roping or something similar, could help keep residents safe while we prepare a permanent solution for McKinley Beach.”


In August of 2020 McKinley Beach was closed due to riptide hazards, several near drownings, and multiple fatal drowning incidents. Since its construction in 1989, McKinley Beach has experienced changing lake levels and site conditions that have made it increasingly dangerous for swimmers.

In 2021, the County Board provided contingency funding to study the conditions at the beach and identify potential solutions to increase swim safety while addressing beach sustainability and water quality.

The Parks Department provided an update on the McKinley Beach study at today’s Parks, Energy and Environment Committee meeting.

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