While walking with my street clothes and towel attempting to leave the beach I encountered an aggressive unsuoervised off leash animal that was ostensibly being entertained by its owner(s) but not adequately curbed. The dog circled and barked at me several times before eventually being distracted by two women at the beach, who incorrectly described the dogs behavior as innocuous (this is typical of people who mismanage their aggressive animals.) Sharks, dolphins, and dogs etc. all use the shoreline to corner prey. It is not just a matter of discomfort. A bitten swimmer, or even a recently bitten or aggressed swimmer might have reason to reenter the water to avoid further injury, even from a small but aggressive animal or an occasionally aggressive or uncharacteristically aggressive animal.
As a former beach life guard, the potential for significant injury was apparent before I entered the water, but I risked the encounter because I enjoy swimming. It is obvious that the current policy of benign neglect regarding animals at the beach is not safe, that the responders responded slowly and initiallly ineffectively, and that the current policy is a clear and present danger to humans using the beach to access the water.
In addition, there are submerged hazards to swimmers' feet (rough concrete ) a few yards off shore, and the beach has no clear marking of the depth at certain distances or the current or the existence of any undertoe, or points beyond which swimming is either unsafe or requires greater ability.
The fact that the Albany Bulb is a favorite dog walking area cannot justify putting swimmers at risk. The dog walking and dog running does not need to be done at the beach part of the shoreline, but if restricting it from this part is so problematic, perhaps restricting it to Point Isabelle would be a better solution.