Montrose Beach Dune Natural Area on the left, and the proposed section of Montrose Beach that would be incorporated into the protected area. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Chicago’s birding community is already preparing for the return of Monty and Rose, the piping plovers that captured national attention two summers ago when they made the surprising choice to nest on Chicago's lakefront. But will their favored habitat be secure in 2021?

Volunteers are needed for daily beach cleanups through Sept. 26. (Courtesy of Shedd Aquarium)

It might not be the day of your Coppertone dreams, but you can get a little sand between your toes by signing up for one or all of this week’s volunteer beach and shoreline cleanups.

Geoffrey Baer on a mysterious lakefront structure in this week's Ask Geoffrey. 

Daily passes are no longer available for Evanston beaches. (Evanston Parks & Recreation / Facebook)

With Chicago’s beaches closed, Evanston has been a lakefront refuge for many city dwellers, but now even that option is becoming limited as summer nears its end.

Beware of high waves on Lake Michigan near piers, jetties and other shoreline structures. (WTTW News)

The National Weather Service is warning people to steer clear of Lake Michigan due to high waves and strong currents. That doesn't just apply to beachgoers and swimmers. Shoreline structures can be dangerous too.

Crowd gathered at Montrose Harbor. (Mayor Lori Lightfoot / Twitter)

A large crowd gathered over the weekend along the lakefront, prompting the city to install fencing at Montrose Beach — and the mayor to issue a stern message.

(DesignOil / Pixabay)

As temperatures soar, you might be tempted to jump into Lake Michigan. But with Chicago beaches closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, water safety advocates say there’s an increased risk of drowning. 

North Avenue Beach in 2018. (Frank Fujimoto / Flickr)

Chicagoans hoping to beat this week’s oppressive heat and humidity won’t be able to head to Chicago’s beaches to cool off “any time soon,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday.

Joel Brammeier, president and CEO of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, talks about the area’s shrinking and disappearing beaches this year, and why it matters.

(gezelle rivera / Flickr)

A new report raises some red flags about the potential health risks associated with swimming at local beaches.

A piping plover on Waukegan Beach in 2018. (Ethan Ellis / Flickr)

The festival had been scheduled for Aug. 23-24 at Montrose Beach, where a pair of endangered piping plovers established a nest this spring. 

A piping plover on Waukegan Beach in 2018. (Ethan Ellis / Flickr)

Organizers of Mamby on the Beach want to move the music festival to Montrose Beach, but conservationists are pushing back because of two endangered birds living at the site. 

Shedd Aquarium’s Kayak for Conservation program aims to introduce residents to the Chicago River ecosystem and the wildlife that call the waters home. (Hilary Wind / Shedd Aquarium)

Chicago summers are nature’s way of rewarding your winter survival skills. And now that warm weather is here, it’s time to get off the couch and actively embrace the season. Here are 10 fun, easy ways to do just that.

(WTTW News)

Are Chicagoans getting the information they need to stay safe at the beach – and in the lake? A new task force has some recommendations for Chicago beaches.

(gezelle rivera / Flickr)

Chicago’s beaches – all 26 of them – are now open for the 2019 season. Here are 10 things you may not know about the city’s sandy side.

Rainbow Park Beach in Chicago (Steven Kevil / Wikimedia Commons)

A state program designed to protect the Lake Michigan shoreline is adding a new category this year aimed at helping Chicago-area communities preserve their beaches.