Posted: May 8, 2012 3:17 PM by Molly Balkenbush
Updated: May 8, 2012 10:19 PM
COLUMBIA - The state of Missouri is taking an E. Coli problem at the Lake of the Ozarks into their own hands. Several public beach areas at the lake have high levels of E. Coli and large amounts of geese feces may be the reason. The state is considering humanely slaughtering the geese and donating the meat to food banks.
Peggy Kirkpatrick, Executive Director of the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, said the organization would gladly accept the meat.
"This is not something new, the state has done this before," Kirkpatric said. "We would always take meat, I would be very surprised if food pantries across the state would not take it. Most people don't realize that protein of any type is the hardest thing for food pantries and food banks to acquire."
Michelle Sllus, a worker at a marina near one of the closed public beaches said that although the high levels of E. Coli were only found at several beaches, they have negatively affected the reputation of the entire lake.
"I've grown up around the lake and every time I tell somebody I want to go swimming in the lake they tell me I'm gross," Sllus said. "I'd say (the reputation) has been hurt quite a bit."
Sllus said the reputation isn't the only aspect that is affected.
"When the beach is closed we don't get as much business," she said.
It is not yet know when the state may decide to take action.