MARQUETTE — Usually when groups of people with a passion for beaches come to Marquette, it’s to enjoy the sun during the warmer days of summer, but this week, over one hundred beach lovers from all around the Great Lakes are getting together for a different reason.

The 16th Annual Great Lakes Beach Association Conference continued Thursday with workshops about numerous topics affecting water quality on the multitude of beaches surrounding the lakes. Talks on subjects ranging from algal booms to beach hazards helped share information that attendees may have a hard time finding elsewhere.

“It’s really an opportunity for us to say, ‘hey, what where you guys up to this year,’ and to learn and build off of those experiences,” said incoming Great Lakes Beach Association President Kimberly Busse.

“It’s information you can’t get from the internet,” Curt Goodman, City of Marquette Director of Public Works and Utilities said. “It’s that one–on–one collaboration.”

In addition to the science of beach matters, the conference addresses the cultural impact of Great Lakes beaches while harnessing the excitement of those in attendance.

“Everyone in this group — everyone attending — they all share that passion,” added Goodman.

“We’re all scientists, but we’re really here because we have a passion for what we do, and I think that Marquette, Michigan, has sort of brought that out of everybody — at least me, for sure,” Busse said.

“Most of the conferences you go [to], it’s all about science or policy, but this is pretty unique in bringing multiple facets of life,” said Raj Bejankiwar, Physical Scientist and Deputy Director at the International Joint Commission.

The conference continues tomorrow, concluding with a walking tour of the city’s shoreline.