Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Report highlights poor water quality at nation's beaches

Before you wade into the water this summer, you may want to consult the beach water report released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The report found that the number of closing and health advisory days at America’s ocean, bay and Great Lakes beaches spiked to the second-highest level measured by the NRDC in the past two decades.

Ten beaches with persistently poor water quality are included in the NRDC’s “repeat offender” list. Water samples at these beaches exceeded public health standards more than 25 percent of the time each year between 2006 and 2010:

  • California: Avalon Beach in Los Angeles County (3 of 5 monitored sections)
    Avalon Beach – Near Busy B CafĂ©
    Avalon Beach – North of GP Pier
    Avalon Beach – South of GP Pier
  • California: Cabrillo Beach Station in Los Angeles County
  • California: Doheny State Beach in Orange County (2 of 6 monitored sections)
    Doheny State Beach – North of San Juan Creek
    Doheny State Beach – Surf Zone at Outfall
  • Florida: Keaton Beach in Taylor County
  • bottom photo source

Interactive map: See how 200 popular beaches fared

Swimmers can check the water quality report at their beach on the EPA website. Not all beaches are monitored, and the EPA suggests beachgoers avoid unmonitored spots where the water quality is unknown. The NRDC also has a guide to finding clean beaches on its website.

“Those traveling to beaches from greater distances with beach visitation as their primary purpose may or may not do their research, but those who do will welcome the NRDC and EPA websites," said Michael Blazey, professor of recreation and leisure studies at California State University, Long Beach.

Story source By Harriet Baskas, contributor

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